Koncert V Praze (In Prague Live) (vinyl release)

Johnny Cash

Legacy, 2015


REVIEW BY: David Bowling


Praise be for National Record Day. It is the time of the year when companies raid the vault and issue music the old way: on vinyl. That brings us to the man in black.

Johnny Cash traveled behind the iron curtain in 1978 to Prague, Czechoslovakia for a concert of good old country music. That performance has now been issued on 180 gram vinyl. This is no CD or DVD, just a record album. The nice touch is the red vinyl because the concert was behind the Soviet Iron Curtain. my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

1983 found Cash at the crossroads of his career.  His famous television show was in the rearview mirror and he had issued dozens of albums. He was about to graduate to revered country icon when he arrived in Prague. In town was his backing band The Tennessee Three, which consisted of five musicians: bassist Marshall Grant, drummer W. S. Holland, guitarist Bob Wooten, guitarist Jerry Hensley, and pianist Earl ball.

For an artist who has hundreds of songs to draw from, Cash keeps it very basic for this concert, mostly performing older and traditional material. Songs such as “Ring Of Fire,” “I Walk The Line,” “Wreck Of The Old ’97,” “Orange Blossom Special,” and “Wabash Cannonball” have been in his repertoire for years. It may have been his fans in Czechoslovakia had little access to his current material but other than “Sunday Morning Coming Down” and “Folsom Prison Blues,” this is an old-fashioned country concert. That fact gives the album charm, and even given the many recordings that have been issued since his death, this one is a unique look is the past that has a distinct retro feel.

Cash’s deep baritone voice is in fine form and the band is tight. His interaction with a very different audience is intimate and energetic. The sound is pristine, and if you own a modern stereo system and turntable, it is an excellent listening experience.

Koncert V Praze (In Prague Live) is a fine addition to the Cash legacy. It is a solid glimpse into what his music was all about.

Rating: A-

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