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Cash on the Barrelhead

After a period of obscurity, Johnny Cash is once again a wanted man.

"I've got a producer and a record company who believe in me, and more important, I believe in myself more than ever," Cash says. "There comes a time when nobody wants what you got so long you get to thinkin' nobody wants you at all. There was so much apathy on the part of my record company that I got that way, too--I got very apathetic about recording. I would wonder, 'Well, what's the point if I go and record an album and they press 500 copies and that's it?' I mean, I don't need any more lessons in futility. If I sell a lot of records or not, it doesn't seem to make a lot of difference to the record company or Rick, because I'm doin' what I should be doin'--and what I feel right doin'.

"I wake up with a new song every day. The song comes through me from somewhere. I woke up yesterday singin' 'A penny a kiss/A penny a hug/Gonna save my pennies in a big brown jug'--a song from 1949. Just this mornin' it was 'Lucky Old Sun.' I mean, these songs keep comin' through me, recyclin' through my brain. There's no gettin' away from the music if I wanted to. It's there. It's part of me. I go to sleep with a song on my mind every night, and it might be a song I don't even especially like. I never thought about bein' without it. I couldn't imagine not havin' music. I can't imagine bein' alive and not havin' a song in my head."

Johnny Cash, with June Carter and Tenderloin. 8 p.m. Tuesday, June 17, Boulder Theater, 2013 14th Street, $35-$37, 830-TIXS. The Telluride Bluegrass Festival, with Johnny Cash featuring June Carter and John Carpenter Cash, Ashley MacIsaac, Patty Griffin, the Lonesome River Band, the String Cheese Incident, Tony Furtado, Charles Sawtelle and the Whippets, and Cornbread Sally, Thursday, June 19, Telluride; call 449-6007 or 1-800-624-2422 for tickets and camping information.

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