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Country: Johnny Cash Review

Johnny Cash
The Man in Black Unchained

Royal Albert Hall, 25 April 1997

"The Man in Black", Johnny Cash played Kensington's Royal Albert Hall on the London leg of his "Unchained" European tour. Exclusive LondonNet Report & Pictures below:

Looking every inch the elder statesman of the cool, mean and black brigade, Mr Johnny R Cash, sauntered on stage with his trademark snear/smirk and burst into Folsom Prison Blues barking:

"When I was just a small boy my moma told me son: 'Always be a good boy and don't ever play with guns'. But I shot a man in Reno just to watch him die"

Of course the old bird has mellowed somewhat. He's now proud to be a family man, with wife June Carter (right) and son John Carter Cash (below left and below right) joining him onstage.

Actually he was always a family man. Born Arkansas, 1932, the son of a farmer, Johnny was an early master of the Six-String Guitar. Although he didn't buy his first guitar until he was eighteen, his mother had taught him to play at the tender age of three and from four he was tutored by local family friend, Jesse Barnhill. It was Jesse who introduced Johnny to the simple poetry of a Gibson flattop.

Just as music brought the old family together, music now bonds the present too.

The Family Cash show is a combination of the sentimental, the macabre, the romantic and the cruel.

Johnny Cash as a songwriter benefits from Johnny Cash as a person having been most places that matter in life; The South; poverty; recording studios; the gutter; television, prison; the movies; gaol; The Grand Ole Oprey; drug addiction; the charts; alcoholism.

The songs old and new reflect this sometimes tortured, sometimes elated experience. Johnny plays tracks like I Walk The Line, Southern Accents and I Got Stripes with a clarity that belies his years. Backed up by a superb band of Nashville masters, close your eyes and you're lost somewhere real deep in the heart of Tennessee swimming in the sounds of the South.

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