Thursday, June 23, 2011

Johnny Cash - At Folsom Prison (1968) & At San Quentin (1969)

Having somewhat brunt myself out on trying to consume new music from submissions and that I sought of my own accord, it is sometimes nice to go back to familiar albums to reset. Johnny Cash has long been among the artists I use to clear my head and reassess why I bother after overwhelming my eardrums. As I am sure many people did, I grew up listening to Johnny Cash on my parents' vinyl records. I'll always remember a summer afternoon when my father got out his copy of Johnny Cash At Folsom Prison and simply said something to the effect of, "Country music sucks but I like Johnny Cash." The couple of albums he cut in the late 60s in California's Folsom and San Quentin prisons are among the very best work he ever produced. Functioning similar to a pair of "best of" albums, the tracks are favorites that he knew would please the prisoners and the record buying public alike. What really makes the albums extraordinary is hearing the howls and applause of the the inmates along with Cash's snide commentary aimed at the penitentiaries. Both are truly intimate and engaging and one of the few things that can make me jealous of those unfortunate souls stuck in the 1960s Californian correctional system. Finally, Cash is one of the few people I'll abide preaching the word of God at me and love it, as those inmates must've if their reactions are any indication.

To be had here:

At Folsom Prison [192 kbps]

At San Quentin [192 kbps]

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