Imagine any recent band playing a show at a prison and then being loved for it. The thought of a band or performer recording an album at a prison is unheard of nowadays. Johnny Cash was one of a few artists (I even have a Jerry Garcia record of him recording at a prison) that performed for a live prison audience.
This album is just beautiful to listen to. Hearing Johnny Cash sing is just so smooth and silky. Hearing him do it in front of 100s of prisoners at Folsom prison is just amazing. You can hear the prisoners cheering and laughing along with Johnny Cash. You even hear Cash give some announcements to prisoners and warden (who of course gets loud boos).
This “outlaw” or the Man in Black fits this scene perfectly. He has a song, “25 Minutes to Go” which couldn’t be more appropriate in this setting. A Shel Silverstein written song about a man waiting for his execution. Songs like “Cocaine Blues” and “Folsom Prison Blues” are put in perfect spots on this record.
Hearing these prisoners cheer on Cash during his songs is just fantastic. Having the Man in Black perform this record in front of prisoners is just the perfect way to celebrate Cash’s life.