Joaquin to (Johnny) Cash in on Record Deal?

Phoenix may release album he's been working on since his role in Walk the Line

By Gina Serpe May 09, 2008 6:26 PMTags
Joaquin Phoenix, Walk the LineSuzanne Tenner/20th Century Fox

Joaquin Phoenix has walked the line, now he's walking the walk.

His turn as Johnny Cash was apparently as inspiring as it was inspired: The Oscar-nominated actor is cutting an album of his own with help from Tim Burgess, the frontman for British rock outfit The Charlatans.

Burgess told Billboard that plans for the project came about after Phoenix took more than a mere liking to guitar playing, which he learned for his 2005 Walk the Line role, calling it a cathartic process.

"Once he learnt guitar he found that he had quite a lot of demons inside himself that he wanted to expel through music," Burgess said.

Phoenix performed in character on the Grammy-winning Walk the Line soundtrack, contributing nine songs, four of which were duets with costar Reese Witherspoon. The album has gone gold and peaked at No. 9. Phoenix also performed a set of Cash tunes in 2005 at the Man in Black's most famous venue, Folsom State Prison.

As for his new endeavor, Phoenix is taking his time to complete it, according to his collaborator.

"All the tracks...were brilliant," says Burgess. "But I think he just kept scrapping everything or redoing everything. I'm sad to say that I think it's one of those records that may never come out, to be honest with you."