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Monday, Nov. 24, 2008

Various Artists

All Aboard: A Tribute To Johnny Cash (Anchorless)

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In 1954, at the age of 22, Johnny Cash had a burning desire to sign a record contract-and he was lucky enough to audition for Sam Phillips at Sun Records in Memphis, Tenn. After Cash performed, Phillips offered these words of wisdom: "Go home and sin, and then come back with a song I can sell." Cash certainly took the advice to heart. After selling more than 90 million albums in his lifetime, and becoming the youngest artist ever inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame, no penance was ever in order for "The Man in Black."

Even after his death in 2003, Cash remains a strong influence on artists in a variety of genres, even one you may not think of right away: indie alt punk bands. Anchorless Records had the brilliant foresight to combine these styles, and recently produced a hidden treasure: All Aboard: A Tribute to JohnnyCash.

More than 15 amazing punk artists cover some of Cash's greatest hits on this compilation. Toronto's Flatliners bust out a seemingly triple-time cover of "Cry Cry Cry," drenched in overwhelmingly awesome riffs that will make your heart light up. The Dresden Dolls featuring Franz Nicolay (The Hold Steady) croon a moving and melancholy goth/punk rendition of "Ballad of a Teenage Queen, and The Sainte Catherines deliver a wicked performance in one of the best covers on the album, "There You Go." The disc also features wonderful surprises from The Bouncing Souls, The Gaslight Anthem and Ben Nichols.

Cash's spirit surely is shining down upon these talented, compassionate artists for a job well done. All proceeds from sales of this record will be donated to The Syrentha Savio Endowment, a nonprofit organization that eases the financial burden placed on low-income women suffering from breast cancer.