At Madison Square Garden

At Madison Square Garden

by Johnny Cash
4.5 2

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At Madison Square Garden 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Having released live albums in 1968 ("At Folsom Prison") and 1969 ("At San Quentin"), this previously unreleased 1969 live show from New York¿s Madison Square Garden still manages to illuminate another side of Cash¿s performance. Given the pressure of the prison shows, not to mention their tailor-made set lists, this recording finds Cash less on-edge, providing a more accurate rendering of his then-current stage show. Everyone but a very pregnant June Carter Cash is on-board, including the Tennessee Three (Marshall Grant, W.S. Holland and Bob Wooten), Carl Perkins, Tommy Cash, The Statler Brothers and The Carter Family (including Mother Maybelle, and daughters Helen and Anita). The set list covers many of Cash¿s most beloved songs (including a quartet of prison tunes, and a barn-burning take of "Wreck of the Old 97"), plus a generous helping of historical and folk classics, including Jane Bowers "Remember the Alamo" (recorded throughout the ¿50s and ¿60s by The Kingston Trio, Donovan, Willie Nelson and others). He provides contemporary commentary about the Vietnam War ("when you watch the helicopters bringing in the wounded, that might make you a dove with claws") and sings Ed McCurdy¿s "Last Night I Had the Strangest Dream" (a standard of the ¿60s folk revival, sung by The Weavers, Chad Mitchell, and Simon & Garfunkel, among others). The ease and confidence with which Cash presents himself on stage is astounding, and more in evidence than in the live prison recordings. Spoken introductions to songs like "Five Feet High and Rising" pull everything together into a seamless presentation. Similarly, Cash¿s generous revue staging allows his compatriots -- each headliners in their own right -- to shine brightly. Carl Perkin¿s blazes through "Blue Suede Shoes," The Statler Brothers sing a lively version of their crossover hit "Flowers on the Wall," and the Carter Family performs a beautiful pair of songs from A.P. Carter¿s catalog ("Wildwood Flower" "Worried Man Blues"). Cash¿s sister-in-law, Helen Carter, provides a wonderfully warm introduction to the Carter Family segment. The closing medley provides each member of the troupe a chance to give their twist on a Cash landmark. Johnny and his brother Tommy sing "Do What You Do, Do Well," The Carter Family sings "I Walk the Line," The Statler Brothers take on "Ring of Fire," and Carl Perkins finds the rockabilly heart of "Folsom Prison Blues." Cash closes out the show with a snippet of "The Rebel - Johnny Yuma," and yet another reprise of "Folsom Prison Blues." The crowd¿s thunderous applause draws an encore of "Suppertime." This is a beautiful (and generous: 77 minute!) stereo recording of a stage master at the peak of his powers, singing and speaking to an enthusiastic sell-out crowd. It is at once incredibly intimate and incredibly grand. The only improvement would have been to release it 33 years ago!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
good selection of songs; neat to listen to him speak; live performance a good format