At Folsom Prison, one of the strongest musical statements in a cache of them by the legendary Johnny Cash, is now available on MP3 format from Amazon this month for only $5.00. (The CD is currently $5.99 and is an AutoRip, which means with the CD purchase you’ll also get a FREE MP3 download of the entire album.)
Raw, unpolished, almost aurally voyeuristic in its approach, this record definitely has a fly on the wall sense to it. Recorded live at Folsom Prison, with an audience of inmates hanging and saluting every musical move Johnny makes with robust cheers, asides, and whoops, it’s not only a classic live album, but a great record recorded in the late 1960s and shows just how masterful Cash’s presence and musical acumen was at this point, even when singing songs that are charmingly primitive in their arrangements and makeup. No matter, Cash inflates each of them with a pained, aching sense; when he sings about being scorned (“Cocaine Blues”) or waiting to be hanged at the gallows (“25 Minutes To Go”) or the almost singalong quality to some of the songs (“Folsom Prison Blues”), he puts every shred and ounce of heart, muscle, blood, sweat, tears, and especially soul into it. There’s a reason why, even though he’s been gone for over ten years now, Johnny Cash is still highly revered as the bonafide legendary Man in Black that he is, and why he’s still a blindingly supernova figure in the past, present, and future of music. At Folsom Prison is one of the key records that affirms and reaffirms just why that is.
Browse hundreds of albums on sale this month for only $5 each!
Lots of sonic platters of joy are ready to be served up this holiday season, and what better gift to give someone than the universal appeal of music? During this festive time, when credit card debts mount up, layaway plans become way too unmanageable, and the stress of owing money takes charge over one’s soul and wallet as the new year turns, it’s still worth the feeling one gets when one sees someone’s eyes light up when they tear the wrapping paper off a gift, positively effused with sincere delight at its contents. We all still do it, we all get by, we grumble as the new year rolls in, but it’s all worth it; gifts are cool, no doubt, gifts never go out of style, and the end result of giving someone a gift makes it all worth it. Music was no exception this year. There were some great collections for one to gnaw on, collections which run every genre and will turn even the most hard hardened curmudgeon of a Scrooge into the softest teddy bear imaginable, even if it’s only for one holiday. My holiday box set picks are below, this one goes to eleven: