What is the hardest lyric in all of country music?
There might be a few out there that vie for the top spot, but I think it’s pretty difficult to find a harder line than this one from Johnny Cash’s classic “Folsom Prison Blues,” one of the greatest country songs of all time.
“When I was just a baby, my mama told me, ‘Son Always be a good boy, don’t ever play with guns’ But I shot a man in Reno just to watch him die…”
Paired together with the Man in Black’s iconic, deep vocals, these lyrics are particularly striking, and this song in particular is one that catapulted Cash’s early career to the next level. Known as one of the most influential and famous country singers the genre has ever seen, of course, Cash’s music is covered by other artists frequently, and for good reason, “Folsom Prison Blues” is no exception.
But out of all the great renditions of a frequently covered song, there’s always one that seems to rise out of the pack every once in a while as a particularly strong take on a classic, and recently Nashville-based up and comer teamed up with Carter Vintage guitars for an impressive bluesy take on Cash’s shiver-down-spine inducing ballad.
Check it out here:
Quimby, a young and incredibly talented folk songwriter, originally from Connecticut, is quickly making a name for himself in country music.
With a growing catalog of impressive originals, Quimby released his first single “I’ve Always Got Time for You” in January, 2022, and his hit the ground running ever since, following it up with a couple more singles before the release of his self-titled debut record Joshua Quimby later that year.
Proving to be a prolific artist thus far in his early career, Quimby has since released two more EPs and a handful of additional singles.
With his uniquely deep and raspy vocals, there are few artists to whom one could compare Quimby, but there’s something to be said for his similarities to Colter Wall, largely as a result of those distinct vocals.
He’s got a couple of Colter Wall covers out there that are pretty awesome, too, and even recently recorded a cover of Wall’s “The Devil Wears a Suit and Tie.”
“Devil Wears a Suit and Tie”
The covers are fun and all, but as I mentioned earlier, Quimby is an extremely talented songwriter in his own right, so it is well worth checking out his originals, too. Kindred to artists like Cash or Wall, Quimby has an intriguingly eerie sound that is ever evolving, yet invokes a sense of vintage nostalgia.
Here are a few of my favorites to get you started.