Johnny Cash Live From Austin Texas

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Johnny Cash Live From Austin Texas More Details

Johnny Cash was a consummate professional during good times and bad, and this complete, uncut 50-minute set from the long-running PBS concert series Austin City Limits shows the Man in Black in fine form, recorded at a time (January 3, 1987) when his career was in a state of uneasy transition. Despite the success of his 1985 album Highwayman, Cash had been dropped by Columbia, his label of 28 years, and one can sense a hint of weariness in this otherwise-fine performance. As evident by the warm, enthusiastic audience, this eclectic gig also hints at the personal and professional revival that Cash would enjoy in his later years with producer Rick Rubin. Like many of Cash's typical tour gigs, this one opens to the familiar strains of "Ring of Fire," and includes a handful of hits ("Folsom Prison Blues," "I Walk the Line," "Long Black Veil") along with a few rarities thrown in for good measure. Recommended to Johnny by Kris Kristofferson, a cover of John Prine's heartbreaking song "Sam Stone"--about the travails of a heroin-addicted Vietnam veteran--proves to be a perfect fit for Johnny (and a personal favorite), although Johnny (ever the devout Christian) changes the lyric "Jesus Christ died for nothin', I suppose" to "Daddy must have suffered a lot back then, I suppose," while retaining the song's sad, tragic tone. Cash then follows with a crowd-pleasing rendition of "(Ghost) Riders in the Sky," and his devoted wife, June Carter Cash, joins Johnny on "Where Did We Go Right?," a song by David Loggins (newly recorded at the time) that serves as a fitting tribute to the Cashes' long-term marriage. Johnny Cash considered this to be one of his finest TV performances, and considering this DVD's superior sound quality, recorded in an intimate setting, who are we to argue?
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