Man In Black: Live In Denmark 1971

Johnny Cash

Columbia Legacy, 2016

REVIEW BY: David Bowling


Johnny Cash is one of the cornerstones of American country music. From his early days with the legendary Sun label until his death close to five decades later, he was a pillar of country music and a part of American culture.

He had a popular television show, and his tours during last 30 years of his life reflected the format of that show. His concerts consisted of his solo songs interspersed among performances by his guests.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

A number of Cash concerts have been released since his death. Man In Black: Live In Denmark was issued in 2006 as a DVD. Now, it comes to CD for the first time.

It is a representative Johnny Cash concert, which makes it so enjoyable. There are no special bells and whistles – this is just a musician plying his craft.

Cash performs a number of his most recognizable hits, including “A Boy Named Sue,” “Sunday Mornin’ Comin’ Down,” “I Walk The Line,” “Folsom Prison Blues,” and “Man In Black,” which are all presented traditionally. Cash was a straightforward performer with little improvisation, but if you want the hit versions of songs, then Cash is a performer for you.

Carl Perkins was the lead guitarist for Cash’s road bands for decades and always performed a few songs. Here, it is his old Sun hits “Blue Suede Shoes” and “Match Box.” His approach is perfunctory, but the songs are classics.

The Statler Brothers perform “Bed Of Roses” and “Flowers On The Wall.” Again, there is nothing spectacular, just a presentation of the familiar. This release also features three duets with Cash’s wife June, including their hit “If I Were A Carpenter,” as well as the whole Carter family bringing a personal touch to the concert. The concert ends with all the performers taking the stage. This has a gospel feel, including an emotional traditional “Rock Of Ages.”

Man In Black: Live In Denmark 1971 is a performance frozen in time. It is one of thousands of typical performances by an extraordinary musician.

Rating: B

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