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Johnny Cash spotlight Lead Shot Cropped Credit Alan Messer

Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys features on Johnny Cash track, "Spotlight"

10 June 2024, 13:00 | Written by Tyler Damara Kelly

Grammy-winning musician and producer Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys features on "Spotlight", taken from Johnny Cash’s forthcoming album, Songwriter, which has been 30 years in the making.

The vocals for “Spotlight” were recorded by Johnny in early 1993 at LSI Studios in Nashville as part of a demo session. Along with co-producer David “Fergie” Ferguson, John Carter Cash, the son of Johnny and June Carter Cash, stripped the song down to just Johnny’s powerful, pristine vocals and brought in a handpicked group of musicians that played with Johnny, including guitarist Marty Stuart and the late bassist Dave Roe, along with drummer Pete Abbott and several others, to the Cash Cabin, a hallowed space for Johnny in Hendersonville, Tenn., to create a new arrangement for the song. Dan Auerbach was recruited by longtime friend and recording associate, Fergie. “Spotlight” like all the songs on Songwriter was written solely by Johnny Cash.

“It was the thrill of a lifetime to be able to play guitar on a Johnny Cash song,” said Dan Auerbach. “Hearing his voice through the speakers in my studio sent chills down my spine. I can't thank John Carter and Fergie enough for including me.” John Carter Cash adds: “It was great to have Dan be a part of ‘Spotlight’ and to add his guitar tones and his sounds to this incredible song. I think it really opened it up into a different direction. It's good to hear two fantastic guitarists, Dan and Marty, working together to bring this song alive.”


  1. Hello Out There
  2. Spotlight
  3. Drive On
  4. I Love You Tonite
  5. Have You Ever Been to Little Rock?
  6. Well Alright
  7. She Sang Sweet Baby James
  8. Poor Valley Girl
  9. Soldier Boy
  10. Sing It Pretty Sue
  11. Like A Soldier

Songwriter, will be released on 28 June via Mercury Nashville/UMe.

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