Tuesday, March 01, 2005

The Man In Black

Well, I finally picked up a copy of Johnny Cash At San Quentin. What a great record. Very similar in feel to ...At Folsom Prison, but more immediate and fiery. His rapport with his audience (and there is no denying that it is HIS audience) is spectacular. You can hear how he feeds off the aggression that must have been stewing in that mess hall. He does TWO renditions of "San Quentin" and the crowd goes completely nuts. When he breaks in to "Folsom Prison Blues", it's like an earthquake hits the place. Just amazing. I was also amused (and not at all surprised) to discover that this is where the famous shot of him giving the finger to the camera was taken.

Seems my server is down or sumpin'.

Yet with all the rowdiness and channeled aggression you can hear in the recording, Cash shines just as brightly when doing spirituals. His rendition of "(There'll Be) Peace In The Valley" is profoundly moving and while the lyrics to "He Turned The Water Into Wine" are very simplistic, they're delivered with such a deep conviction that you can't doubt Cash's faith for a second.

And it's this that is the quintessence of Cash. In fact, it's the reason why he's such an amazing artist. He's a man that experiences a full range of emotions, from rage to joy to humbling faith before his God. It's the conflict between these different aspects of the man that make him so fascinating and charismatic, for while he is larger than life in many ways, he remains a man and it's that which his audiences identifies with.

What's on today's charter:

Johnny Cash - At San Quentin
(see above!)

Bonechurch - Ghosts In Silt
(yet more self-love goin' on)

Dimmu Borgir - Enthrone Darkness Triumphant
(trying hard to get into this record; not as good as Death Cult Armageddon)

Sisters Of Mercy - First And Last And Always
(great record that unfortunately gets overshadowed by Floodland)



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