October 24, 2008
The original version of At Folsom Prison (review) is rife with a boiling intensity and a boundless pain that few artists are able to corral as well as the esteemable Johnny Cash. With the new Legacy Edition of the Folsom Prison set, a snapshot of his two-day stay at the site and the timeless music that flowed from the concrete walls, the sheer audacity (and artistry) exhibited by Cash is on full display.
In all, 31 unreleased tracks are featured on Legacy Edition, including the entire second show, an event never before released on record, but the real treat here is the inclusion of the first documentary film to illustrate Cash’s most legendary day. Produced by award-winning director Bestor Cram and Cash biographer Michael Streissguth, the documentary follows the country star through Folsom and pinpoints his companionship with the inmates. Better still, the package includes over 40 pages of liner notes that detail Cash’s visit, including inmate interviews and photographs of the famous prison.
The performances are incredibly human, ranging from poignant to irresistably rowdy. Cash’s most enduring work, At Folsom Prison is given a much deserved reissue that is a worthy addition to any fan’s collection, and a testament to country music newcomers that the genre is capable of greatness.