Michael Endelman rounds up albums hitting stores this week and next

By Michael Endelman
Updated July 03, 2006 at 04:00 AM EDT
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Johnny Cash: Daniel Coston / Retna Ltd.

JULY 4 RELEASES

Johnny Cash, American V: A Hundred Highways (American/Lost Highway)
The Man in Black’s last recorded work is on this elegiac, mournful disc, a fitting capstone to the fruitful late-career collaboration between Rick Rubin and Cash. Rubin has hinted that there’s more material in the vaults, but lets hope this is the last: There’s just no need for a Tupac-style blitz of a post-mortem releases.

Peter Gammons, Never Slow Down, Never Grow Old (Rounder)
The ESPN regular knows his pitching lineups and batting orders, but can he find his way through a I-IV-V progression? This highly unexpected disc should provide the answers, as the Beantown baseball analyst plays guitar and sings (!!) alongside a few ringers, including George Thorogood, Juliana Hatfield, and former Letters to Cleo member Kay Hanley.

Ziggy Marley, Love is My Religion (Tuff Gong)
There’s nothing out-of-the-ordinary about the music on this disc: It’s a set of love-themed reggae material from Bob’s eldest son. But the distribution method is odd: The album is only being sold at cheap-chic retailer Target. Would you like a spliff with your Michael Graves-designed broom?

Rise Against, The Sufferer & the Witness (Geffen)
Here’s one CD that won’t be played at Donald Rumsfeld’s Independence Day BBQ. The latest album from the rabble-rousing Chicago punk quartet is a typically fierce disc of fiercely lefty, anti-corporate, anti-Conservative scream alongs.

JULY 11 RELEASES

Cut Chemist, The Audience’s Listening (Warner Bros.)
Many years in the making, Cut Chemist’s first major-label debut is a beat-freaks delight. The vinyl alchemist creates quirky groovescapes, crammed with all kinds of turntable wicky-wicky and oddball samples.

Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, I Stand Alone (Anti-/Epitaph)
The septuagenarian folkie connects with a whole new generation of admirers on his first new album in seven years, which includes guest spots from Flea, Lucinda Williams, and Sleater-Kinney’s Corin Tucker.

Thom Yorke, The Eraser (XL Recordings)
Not as good as a new Radiohead album, but not as bad as a Scott Storch album. Mr. Sunshine’s first solo disc will please all the Kid A fans, but won’t do much for those Bends lovers.

Soul Asylum, The Silver Lining (Sony Legacy)
Soul Asylum was a ”runaway train? never comin’ back,” that is, until last year, when the group reunited for this album, their first in 11 years.

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