The last recordings Johnny Cash made with producer Rick Rubin come to light on American V: A Hundred Highways. While this is not the best album Rubin put together with the country superstar, it certainly is a gripping piece of work.
Cash leans heavily once again on choice covers, including Larry Gatlin's "Help Me," Bruce Springsteen's "Further On (Up the Road)," and Gordon Lightfoot's "If You Could Read My Mind."
The players filling in the spaces include a who's who of rock and Americana's finest, including Benmont Tench on keyboards, Marty Stuart on mandolin, Randy Scruggs and Smokey Hormel on guitar. Highlights include the traditional "God's Gonna Cut You Down," Hank Williams' "On the Evening Train," and two ballads, Rod McKuen's "Love's Been Good to Me" and Hugh Moffatt's "Rose of My Heart." Cash's authoritative vocals remain undiminished and drench American V in the rich tapestry of a country's roots and legends.