June Carter Cash. Dualtone.
Completed shortly before her death last spring, June Carter Cash's parting album is one for the ages. Wildwood Flower offers new recordings of songs from the Carter Family's rich catalog, performed with the support of family and friends. But this is no dry archival exercise. Cash's raw, sometimes haggard voice crackles with honest conviction, whether ribbing husband Johnny in the comic "Temptation" or confronting mortality on "Will You Miss Me?" The spare acoustic settings and plain-spoken lyrics convey powerful, often messy emotions without straining for effect. And don't miss the fiery yet delicate title track, complete with her shimmering autoharp--a perfect summation of June Carter Cash's simple genius.