Album Review: Brian Owens - “Soul of Cash”

Talented artist reinterprets several Johnny Cash classics in new and interesting ways.

It has been said that if you’re going to make an album of iconic songs (covers) that you should do something different with the songs to make them stand out. Taking a page out of Bettye LaVette’s book, Brian Owens brings out the soul in many classic Johnny Cash songs with Soul of Cash. Brian Owens opens up with "Ring of Fire" and blends that song into “Folsom Prison Blues” and then “Walk The Line,” bringing singularly fresh interpretations of these well-known classics, no small feat these days.

Brian's interpretive power is showcased on “Sunday Morning,” and the Kris Kristofferson-penned tune feels like a Gospel spiritual more than ever. “The Man In Black” has a Motown-like vibe in execution with it feeling like a long-lost Marvin Gaye track from the What’s Goin’ On sessions while “Soul In My Country,” a new song, features standout guests Rissi Palmer and Robert Randolph and shows where Owens can carve out his own niche within the roots music world.

Even if he never achieves widespread mainstream awareness with Soul of Cash, Brian Owens has achieved a remarkable thing with this record. He’s successfully covered one of the most singular artists on the planet and made the songs his own and, like Bettye LaVette mentioned above or Johnny Cash himself on his American Recordings series, he makes these songs his own. Do not miss this record.