At San Quentin (The Complete 1969 Concert)
Recorded in 1969, Johnny Cash At San Quentin yielded the massively-popular “A Boy Named Sue” and introduced a younger audience to the virtues of The Man In Black’s music. Despite its success, it took over three decades for Cash’s entire set to see the light of day. In its complete form, At San Quentin is an even more riveting experience. Reaching out to his prison inmate audience, Cash finds humor in hard knocks and distills wisdom out of suffering. His renditions of “Wanted Man,” “I Walk The Line” and “Folsom Prison Blues” don’t so much celebrate the outlaw life as confront and transcend it. Significantly, the complete edition of At San Quentin adds the gospel material Cash included in his set. With help from the Carter Family, the Statler Brothers and Carl Perkins, he dives into “Daddy Sang Bass,” “He Turned Water Into Wine” and “The Old Account Was Settled Long Ago” with the conviction of a wayward preacher come home. Restored dialogue between Cash and his comrades adds to the intimacy. Cash’s San Quentin concert is both a recording of historic importance and a hellacious good time, worth savoring from start to finish.