WXPN Radio

The premier guide for new and significant artists in rock, blues, and folk - including NPR-syndicated World Cafe ®

XPoNential Radio

24/7 Musical discovery. A unique mix of emerging and heritage blues, rock, world, folk, and alt-country artists.

World Cafe Archives

Join David Dye as he navigates the World Cafe through live performances and interviews with celebrated and emerging artists.

Folk Radio

Folk music radio streaming on the web; Americana, Roots Music, recordings, and stories from folk's best.
Listen Live

Johnny Cash - American V: A Hundred Highways - American / Lost Highway

The poignancy and brilliance of the fifth and final installment of Johnny Cash's American series is a lasting testimony to the genius of an American icon. As reported in Rolling Stone magazine, the story goes that the day after his wife June Carter Cash died on May 15th, 2003, Johnny Cash called Rick Rubin - his producer and said to him: "I have to get to work. If you don't have something for me to do every day, I'm going to die." Unfortunately, his life ended too soon.

In the four months between June's death and his own, Cash recorded 30 songs. Nearly blind and confined to a wheelchair and his baritone weakened and fragile you can hear Cash's sadness and resignation in every one of his utterances, phrases and guitar strums. There is death all over this album, yet it is optimistic and bittersweet. Throughout he grieves for his wife that he loved so dearly and knowing that his time has come their is reflection and a spirituality that could only come in the time of his life as he faces his own death.

Originally intended as a gospel album the concept of American 5 soon came to include covers of songs by Bruce Springsteen ("Further On Up The Road"), Hank Williams ("On The Evening Train"), Ian Tyson's classic "Four Strong Winds", and the most powerful song on the record, a cover of Gordon Lightfoot's "If You Could Read My Mind." As with his previous American releases, Cash is supported by a stellar group of musicians including Heartbreakers Benmont Tench and Mike Campbell and guitarists Smokey Hormel (of Beck's band), Randy Scruggs, Pat McLaughlin, and Jonny Polonsky.

American 5 is stark, bold, sad and fitting farewell from The Man In Black.

Written by Bruce Warren

Buy Your Music Here, and Support WXPN.

Forget trying to classify them and just listen: Railroad Earth’s Session, and “Katie Cruel’s” importance in music, tonight on...

For the last handful of weeks on Folkadelphia Radio, we’ve been focusing on a featured song, digging a little into its history,...Read More

The ever-evolving Kite Party will celebrate their new record on May 8 at PhilaMOCA

On May 6, Kite Party will unveil their second full-length album, Come on Wondering. On May 8, they’ll celebrate with a record...Read More

Singer-songwriter Abi Reimold celebrates her EP release this Saturday at Hong Kong Garden

Philly-based songstress Abi Reimold – also a photographer and occasional contributor to The Key – will celebrate the...Read More

DRGN King, Family Vacation, Big Tusk, Ghost Gum and more scheduled to play show on Record Store Day at Vinyl Revival...

If you were already having a hard time planning out how you were going to celebrate Record Store Day on April 19, things just got a...Read More

Redbull’s Sound Select pairs Philly artists Embarker and Chris Forsyth with Oneohtrix Point Never

Redbull’s Sound Select monthly feature, showcases local artists across the country is bringing some additional recognition to...Read More