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Johnny Cash 

At San Quentin (Legacy Edition) (Columbia/Legacy)

Originally released as a single LP back in 1969, At San Quentin captured only a sliver of the late Johnny Cash's incendiary performance before a rowdy gathering of California convicts. This spiffy new reissue, on the other hand, consists of two discs presenting the concert in its entirety. In addition to Cash's complete and uncensored set (send the kids and prigs to bed), we have the openers: the Carter Family, rockabilly icon Carl Perkins, and the Statler Brothers. At San Quentin also contains a DVD -- the 1969 British television show documenting the concert and prison life at San Quentin. It's the desperation of this very life that the Man in Black conveys through his hardy baritone, brazen delivery, and revealing stage banter. Riding one of his career's myriad peaks, Cash unleashes a nearly ideal rundown of his canon: the hard-rocking Sun material, traditional gospel, unique takes on Dylan, and his socially conscious country-folk tunes. Both the Cash beginner and devotee need this package.

Speaking of CD Review

More by Mark Keresman

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