Nine-time GRAMMY Award-winner Sheryl Crow believes in the transformative power of music, and today’s release of a duet with the late Johnny Cash, “Redemption Day,” is a clear indication the world does too. “This song has had a lot of different lives,” says Crow of the track that originally appeared on her Grammy-winning, triple PLATINUM album Sheryl Crow in 1996. “It’s led me to some strange and interesting opportunities.” Today marks one of those times as a re-recorded version leads her forthcoming album on The Valory Music Co., slated for late summer. (Read Crow’s personal essay about the song here.)
Cash recorded the song and told Crow that he felt it was the cornerstone of his next album, but his version wasn’t released until 2010’s American VI: Ain’t No Grave album. While on tour in 2014, Crow performed “Redemption Day” as a duet with Cash’s recording, projecting his image onstage—which inspired her to approach his estate with the idea of re-recording a collaboration of their voices for her new project.
Director Shaun Silva coupled footage of Cash next to scenes of a young child watching history unfold, in all of its tragedy and triumph, throughout the “Redemption Day” music video as a somber yet hopeful Crow carries the melody. “As a mom of two young kids,” says Crow, “I see that our kids watch what we do on their behalf and how we shape their future. They’re privy to everything visual, especially now, and there’s no way to shield your child from the roughness of reality. If we could see the world through a child’s eyes, we would make different decisions.”
Watch it below:
Incorporating Cash into the project – alongside songs with other friends from Keith Richards to Stevie Nicks to St. Vincent – is more meaningful to Crow than just the sound and memory of one of America’s greatest icons. “With what’s happening in our nation now, and how dire things look, to have Johnny’s voice offers some hope,” she says. “Knowing how he felt about the song, I feel pretty certain that he would have some wisdom to impart about what’s happening now and who we are becoming. I hope that wherever he is, he feels proud to be a part of it—I certainly feel his presence in the song.”