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The Complete Live at San Quentin

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At one point in my life I hated country music. Then I grew up and realized I’d missed out on a lot. And forgotten some important stuff from my childhood.

Today I bought something I’ve been meaning to buy for a long time. Now I’m kicking myself for not buying it a lot sooner. It’s one of the best live albums I’ve ever heard–and I’ve heard quite a few.

The digitally remastered Johnny Cash at San Quentin has to be the best fifteen bucks I’ve spent in at least a year. This reissue collects all the songs from Cash’s original multi-platinum album from 1969. As a bonus, it restores a number of tracks that were not on the original release due to lack of room. It also removes the bleeping noises that masked Johnny’s sometimes salty language on the original release.

June Carter, her sisters and mom, as well as Carl Perkins and the Statler Brothers, serve as backup. This is such a good album, I don’t even have words for it. I’m listening to it for the third time as I type this. I only got it about three hours ago.

If you’re not a country music fan but are looking for something really good in that genre, buy this. If you kind of like country music but haven’t discovered Johnny Cash yet, buy this. If you’re a Cash fan but don’t own this, you deserve to be smacked on the back of the head for not owning it already. And if you’ve got an older copy of it, without the remastering or the extra tracks, then you need this most of all.

Damn. Just go buy it, would ya?

(This post originally appeared at Dean’s World. Feel free to drop by any time to discuss everything you should never discuss: politics, religion, music, books, movies, and more.)

Now I taught the weeping willow how to cry
And I showed the clouds how to cover up a clear blue sky
And the tears I cried for that woman are gonna flood you Big River
Then I’m gonna sit right here until I die…

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About Dean Esmay