Houston Music

Johnny Cash/Various Artists: Johnny Cash Remixed

That sound you hear is Johnny Cash spinning in his grave as remixers from all over the 12-inch spectrum get their mitts on "Folsom Prison Blues," "Country Boy" and ten others on Johnny Cash Remixed, brand-new from Houston's Compadre Records. Or might it be the Man in Black actually dancing? Certainly Cash's tastes seemed to grow more catholic towards the end — he covered everyone from Depeche Mode to Neil Diamond on his American Recordings series — and if nothing else, Remixed does have the blessing of his family; "Executive Producers John Carter Cash, Snoop Dogg and Mathew Knowles" (Knowles's Music World Entertainment owns Compadre) is one of the oddest album credits you'll see in this lifetime.

Big Snoop shows up on opener "I Walk the Line," which he and his QDT production team (Teddy Riley, DJ Quik) turn into a slapdash grungy duet that's bizarre as hell but endearing in that Snoop Dogg way. Pete Rock slathers late-'80s boom-bap all over the irresistible "Folsom Prison," and Philip Steir gives "Get Rhythm" a ­lightning-techno twist. Several other songs, however, sound virtually unchanged save a little studio spit and polish: Count de Money's "Big River," Sonny J's "Country Boy," Wolf's "Rock Island Line." British bands the Heavy and Alabama 3's "Doin' My Time" and "Leave That Junk Alone," meanwhile, are essentially hopped-up covers with Cash's voice floating in and out like on U2's "The Wanderer." Cash purists have every right to blanch at these mixing-board artistes slicing and dicing his songs, but the results suggest that even from beyond the grave, the old man is fully capable of busting a move.

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Chris Gray has been Music Editor for the Houston Press since 2008. He is the proud father of a Beatles-loving toddler named Oliver.
Contact: Chris Gray