June Carter Cash
"Wildwood Flower"
by Johanna J. Bodde



"Wildwood Flower"
(Dualtone Records)


The CD is titled "Wildwood Flower", just like the album June Carter Cash recorded in 1988, together with her sisters Helen and Anita plus daughter Carlene. The only time I saw her perform was one year earlier, with this new Carter Family she turned out to be an essential act in the Johnny Cash Show. She was a strong personality, a comedienne, she came from a legendary family and married her third husband: the famous Man In Black. Her book "From The Heart" is still gripping reading-matter. She was never a fantastic singer and she never claimed to be, although on the old LPs some duets with Johnny worked out surprisingly well.
With this album a woman, advanced in years, leaves a dignified testament. She sang a number of well-known A.P. Carter-songs and some other compositions from the family vault. She played her trademark autoharp on the title track and was lovingly accompanied a couple of times by a good sounding Johnny, while their son John Carter Cash produced and the extended circle of family & friends sang and played along. A few names: Marty Stuart, Norman Blake, Carlene Carter and her daughter Tiffany, still proudly using stepfather Nick Lowe's last name.

There are extras: two intros unfold as ancient recordings of Little Junie and the Carter Girls, there's a bonus video featured on the disc and it comes with a big, luxurious booklet full of pictures, lyrics and touching liner notes by Rosanne Cash, including her speech at the funeral. I think June stays in my memories as the lady in pink glitter dress who kicked her pumps off the stage and spontaneously started dancing!

Written by Johanna J. Bodde, Dutch original of this review previously published on Real Roots Cafe, The Netherlands.