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SNAFU - Alias Wayne - Album Reviews

Alias Wayne Teams Up With Ranzel X Kendrick for This Jammin’ Rendition of Ring Of Fire

by Joshua (J.Smo) Smotherman September 18, 2019 5:04 pmTagged With: Americana, Country, country rock, Folk, folk rock, singer, songwriter

Ring of Fire by Alias Wayne and Ranzel X Kendrick is now available!

Singer/songwriter Alias Wayne has delivered an upbeat, catchy, jammin’ rendition of Johnny Cash’s Ring of Fire featuring the talents of Ranzel X Kendrick (who has appeared on these pages before; also here).

A male/female duet performance, this cover of Ring Of Fire is guaranteed to get your foot stompin’ and face smilin’.

Now when I use the word upbeat, I don’t necessarily mean in the traditional way Cash performs the song. I’m talking more along the lines of that more modern upbeat feel; the one that lends itself to radio and bigger audiences than one genre can define.

Alias Wayne and Ranzel X Kendrick have given us a refreshing, electrifying spin on a classic song. Stream, share, playlist.

Listen to Ring of Fire on Spotify or YouTube.


Alias Wayne has just released a new single that is an innovative cover of Johnny Cash’s Ring of Fire. Alias Wayne certainly presents a nostalgic, yet innovative version of the song that is filled with a charming bluegrass sound.

Ring of Fire is from Alias Wayne’s new EP titled SNAFU. Alias Wayne happens to be the brainchild and alter ego of the multi-talented musician and songster Ranzel X Kendrick. Alias Wayne is able to nurture this enchanting melody with a host of organic instrumentation, which includes acoustic guitar, fiddle, and a riveting bassline. Ring of Fire by Alias Wayne is one musical jewel you don’t want to miss.


Alias Wayne New Single “Ring of Fire” from their album ‘SNAFU’

by Skope

September 17, 2019

What would happen if you took an iconic country song and turned it into a swinging little Americana number? Well, wonder no more because Alias Wayne has beaten you to the punch with its version of “Ring of Fire.” Taken from the act’s SNAFU album, it is built on many of the elements oftentimes found in traditional country music. It has plenty fiddle and harmonica, for instance. In fact, it may be more traditionally country than Johnny Cash’s original. You may recall how Cash’s version featured a brass horn fanfare. Horns may work just fine in, say, the band Chicago or Earth, Wind & Fire. It’s not, though, something you usually hear in your local honky tonk. Therefore, you can’t sincerely say Alias Wayne has somehow un-country-fied Cash’s iconic song; it was rather un-country from the outset.

A bigger problem with Alias Wayne’s take on “Ring of Fire,” though, may be the emotional weight – or lack thereof – it carries. Yes, Cash’s version is lightened by the song’s melodious horn parts. Yet, Cash’s bellowing singing voice expresses deadly dread. The taste of love may be sweet, as its lyrics tell us, but going, down, down, down, where it burns, burns, burns is not exactly a happy sounding scenario. This is not, in contrast, Elvis’ hunka burning love. This is fire burning in a way that stings. Love songs often talk about being hot for another, but “Ring of Fire” portrays love as a dreadful pit. Instead of extolling all that’s great about falling in love, Cash’s performance expresses the helplessness of romantic attraction.

STREAMING: Knowing what we know about Johnny Cash, this song is hardly biographical. His second wife, and many times his savior, June Carter Cash (who, by the way, helped write “Ring of Fire”) was no dreadful beast from the depths of hell. In fact, this song is not even talking about a specific individual, as much as it describes a circumstance – that of being in the tight grip of love. Alias Wayne doesn’t sound afraid of what love can (and will) do. Instead, this descent into fire rings comes off more like a happy walk in the park. ‘Let me gently fall into the flames,’ Alias Wayne sounds to be telling us. This ring of fire sounds more like a fire pit at the beach, where one might get singed while attempting to roast a marshmallow just a tad too close to the fiery glow. Clearly, this is a different take on the song. Alias Wayne obviously loves the original and doesn’t disrespect that iconic work by overly deconstructing it. If you love the original – as do most true music fans do – you’ll probably get a kick out of the way Alias Wayne reimagined it. It’s a fine recording. With that said, though, by its tone, it’s not the same song. You won’t drop your dating app-opened phone like a hot potato after hearing it. As with any especially good song, “Ring of Fire” is one that retains its integrity, no matter how it’s arranged. This single is more of a curiosity than an essential purchase. Nevertheless, it’s no doubt good fun for music nerds.



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