Johnny Cash & Waylon Jennings Duet on “I’m Movin’ On”

February 12, 2014 - By Trigger  //  Reviews  //  22 Comments


To hear the warm, familiar voice of a legendary country music great again here so many years after they have unfortunately passed on in a new, unreleased and unheard song is a gift from the country music heavens hard to put a true measure on. But to hear two of those legendary voices come back to life, and together no less, is downright country music divinity.

Between 1981 and 1984, Johnny Cash recorded an album with the legendary Hall of Fame producer Billy Sherrill called Out Among The Stars that was subsequently shelved by Columbia Records and lost to the world until the masters were recently discovered during a search for archival Cash material by Johnny Cash’s son, John Carter Cash. The album in its entirety will be released on March 25th, but ahead of the release we’ve been bestowed a prelude track— a duet of Johnny Cash with Outlaw country legend Waylon Jennings, breathing new life into the Hank Snow-penned train tune “I’m Movin’ On.” A version of “She Used To Love Me A Lot” was also released from the album in mid January.

waylon-jennings-johnny-cashBeyond the track itself, the archivists were gracious and wise enough to leave some of the studio banter hanging onto the beginning of the recording, really helping to re-evoke the the warmth that Johnny Cash could bring to a room, disarming the studio with laughter to make sure a relaxed take would make it on tape. The track itself is a cooking little tune, just as much in the period style of Waylon as it is Cash, with a half-time hitch in the middle of the song for character, and some great backing instrumentation.

Hall of Famer Hargus “Pig” Robbins can be heard laying down a piano bed, and though Nashville A-Team studio guitarist Jerry Kennedy likely makes a heavy appearance on the track, I could swear in the second guitar solo I hear the signature styling of Marty Stuart, who was there for the original sessions, and is one of the musicians along with Buddy Miller who helped “fortify” the tracks for this unique release.

This is no world-beater, but it was likely meant to be the up-tempo change in the album and performs this task admirably. Really, Waylon and Cash could both throw a pair of their dirty jockeys in the middle of the studio and we’d probably think it sounded like genius just from the virtue of hearing their voices again. From sharing an apartment together in the 60’s, to having heart surgery at the same time and in the same hospital in the 80’s, to bookending the legendary Highwaymen into the 90’s, there’s just something right about these two men in tandem.

Waylon & Cash, together again.

1 1/2 of 2 guns up.

22 Comments to “Johnny Cash & Waylon Jennings Duet on “I’m Movin’ On””

  • Can’t wait for this to come out!


  • This album sounds like it’s going to really be something special. Waylon is most often associated with Willie Nelson as a duet partner but he also had another duet with Cash a few years before this was recorded that is a really fun song.

    ‘There Ain’t No Good Chain Gang’



    • This song is an oft-overlooked classic, and further proof these two should have made more music together.

      Great tune.


  • Just, yes.

    Waylon and Johnny could sit around, read the phone book, strum the guitar, and joke around, and it would still sound good. And it would sound infinitely better than most of the turds circling the country radio bowl nowadays.

    God I miss hearing new material from these two. I’m a much bigger Waylon fan than Cash fan, but damned if these two didn’t spin some magic when they jammed together.

    Hearing that there’s new music, even if it turns out it’s middling from these two is cause for celebration.

    Thanks for this one last gift to the country music world, guys.


  • Fun! :D I’m definitely looking forward to hearing the rest of this album.


  • I mean, it’s OK… could use a little more autotune and some electronic beats. More distortion on the guitars. Maybe a guest verse from Ludacris.

    Also the message is a little confusing. I mean, why is he moving on? Would his woman not shake her sugar shaker with an ice cold beer in the bed of a flatbed truck on a dirt road? Thank God for the progress of music!


    • Yeah, country music has to evolve!



    • I don’t understand why they say “I’m moving on”.
      They should just say “Girl you make me wanna.”

      And 8 wheels rolling down the track? Come on…4 mud tires you mean.


  • Oh yes, this is going to be a breath of fresh air.


  • That’s the sound that made me a country music fan in the first place.


  • My gosh!

    I always thought these two doing “Ain’t No Good Chain Gang” was gold, but this is a live studio recording and you feel like you’re right there in the studio.


  • Great news… I hope there is alot more stuff like this laying around.


  • VEVO won’t let me watch/listen…


    Looks like I’ll have to wait till march!


  • Why not two guns up Trigg? Come on man.


    • Hey, I love to hear these two guys, and especially together. But at the same time, I want to be fair and judge the song on its own merit and no different than I would a song from Eric Church or Sturgill Simpson. Aside from the grade I thought it was a very favorable review.


      • Fair enough. Great find.


  • This tapers my excitement about the release of “Out Amoung the Stars.” It’s just I already have 10 versions of this song – Willie Nelson (3), Cash (2), Haggard (1), Rolling Stones (1), Rosanne Cash (1), Hank Snow (1), and Emmylou Harris (1). I hope ‘Out Amoung the Stars’ isn’t a collection of songs that Cash eventually did cut during the Rick Rubin American era.


    • Here’s the tracklist;

      1. Out Among The Stars
      2. Baby Ride Easy (w/ June Carter Cash)
      3. She Used To Love Me A Lot
      4. After All
      5. I’m Movin’ On – (w/ Waylon Jennings)
      6. If I Told You Who It Was
      7. Call Your Mother
      8. I Drove Her Out Of My Mind
      9. Tennessee
      10. Rock and Roll Shoes
      11. Don’t You Think It’s Come Our Time (w/ June Carter Cash)
      12. I Came To Believe


      • I’ve got all the American Recordings stuff, and aside from “I’m Movin’ On” (there’s a version of it on disc 2 of ‘Unearthed’) and “I Came to Believe” (on ‘American V: A Hundred Highways’), as well as “Baby Ride Easy” (I have Carlene Carter and Dave Edmunds’ cover), most of these titles are fairly new to me.


        • Thanks! Sometimes I don’t know until I hear the song anymore. When I first saw “I’m Movin’ On,” it didn’t strike me as the song that’s been covered a million times cause there’s “Movin’ On,” “I’m Movin’ On,” “I’m Moving On,” “(I’m) Movin’ On.”


  • Speaking of new albums, I just saw that Curb is releasing another Hank 3 album full of singles from compilations or soundtracks from 3’s late 90s early 2000s era. Supposed to be released April 1, 2014 out of all fuckin’ days. It;s called Ramblin’ Man, just Curb’s way of trying to squeeze in one more check off of 3.


  • Yes. Yes. A thousand times YES!


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