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Johnny Cash American Iii Solitary Man (Piano/Vocal/Guitar Artist Songbook) Paperback – June 1, 2001
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First off, the arrangement of "I See a Darkness" alone is worth the price of the book. Simple and beautiful, Will Oldham's words and music are haunting. Another notable arrangement is of the gospel standard "Wayfaring Stranger." Of all the versions I've come across, this is definitely my favorite.
The arrangement for "The Mercy Seat" is a bit of a disappointment, mainly because of it's oversimplification. The recording of this song has some of that "raw power" that I mentioned, but it just doesn't translate well in written form. I understand, though, how this kind of song would be difficult to pen for a lone piano or guitar.
Another song that doesn't quite capture the recording is "One." It's a bit awkward as it incorporates the melody. This and "Solitary Man" would have worked better as accompaniment arrangements.
"Nobody," "Field of Diamonds," and "Country Trash" are other songs that are very simple, but a lot of fun to play and to sing along with.
The verdict: For all piano- or guitar-playing fans of the American series, I would definitely recommend this songbook, but don't have too high an expectation.