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Classic Clips: John Carter Cash “Hurt” – Music City Roots Live From The Factory, 2017

Americana UK | June 14, 2024

When Trent Reznor wrote ‘Hurt’ and released it on the Nine Inch Nails album ‘Downward Spiral’ in 1994, he could not have imagined how the song would grow and change, becoming something entirely new in the hands of Johnny Cash and magical producer Rick Rubin.  Cash’s work with Rubin towards the end of his career was so powerful and his re-imagining of this song – already a wonderfully-written, atmospheric piece – was one of the highlights of this period.  ‘Hurt’ is stark and bleak and haunting. Cash’s video for it, incredibly moving, presented us all with our mortality.  Deservedly, it received the Country Music Association award for Single of the Year in 2003.

That brings us to this ‘classic clip’.  John Carter Cash is a talent in his own right.  Just check out his fine single ‘Garden of Stone’ from 2023 here.  As well as being a gifted writer and performer, John Carter Cash is a GRAMMY-winning producer, who has collaborated with the likes of Chris Cornell, Kris Kristofferson and John Prine.  This performance of ‘Hurt’ carries all raw feeling and tension of previous versions, with an added layer of hurt and grief because John could be singing this to his father, especially when the delivers the line: “Everyone I know goes away in the end.”  It’s full of heartache and heartbreak and there’s real emotion in John Carter Cash’s delivery.  There is something particularly meaningful in watching John Carter Cash perform a song, so full of poignant lyricism, that his father had made his own.

Written by Americana UK

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