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Country - To be released November 19, 2021 | Legacy Recordings

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Country - To be released October 29, 2021 | Legacy Recordings

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The idea of a live album as a documentary is a naïvely outdated one. For decades, fans have understood that, if one wanted to hear a tip-to-tail, warts-and-all live performance by one of their favorite musicians, a bootleg would be just about the only way, since the "live" albums typically released by most acts were usually cobbled together from multiple performances (and sometimes even across multiple tours). This state of affairs means that while these releases are providing a simulacrum of the live experience, they never exactly transport the listener to any fixed place in time. Thankfully, though, "official bootlegs" like those being released as part of the Bear's Sonic Journals series are not just providing historical documentation of a specific concert, but also a more fully immersive listening experience. After all, as it turns out, those "warts and all" that get removed in the overdub-and-edit process of many live albums are what can make them so vital and exciting. Most well-known as the sound engineer (and LSD purveyor) for the Grateful Dead, Owsley "Bear" Stanley also recorded hundreds of performances by other acts who performed in San Francisco. Stanley's approach to live audio was revolutionary at the time, constantly iterating and optimizing both the in-room amplification and the mixing (and, by extension, recording) process, in the pursuit of a multi-sensory experience for a concert's attendees. And while the recordings he made were largely a byproduct of his optimization, the resultant archives have turned out to be an extensive documentation of Bay Area concerts during the heyday of the counterculture's most expansive period, which wasn’t just limited to rock 'n' roll. Bluegrass bands, country acts, Indian classical masters, jazz artists, and more provided sonic counterpoints to the psychedelia that dominated the scene. This particular set—recorded a few months after Cash's legendary show at Folsom Prison, but a few weeks before the (edited and polished) live album of that set was released—is just one of those sonic counterpoints. Even though Cash tosses a couple of nods to his Haight Ashbury audience with some Dylan covers in the set list and a shoutout to Gordon Lightfoot who is in the crowd, the set is largely in line with what he was performing across the country at the time. That said, it's an absolutely rollicking set, with an incredible amount of energy and dynamism, even in the quieter, more pensive moments. Jamming 28 tracks into just over an hour, Cash and the Tennessee Three are absolutely in prime form here, barrelling through a wide range of material that ironically gives lost cuts like "The Ballad of Ira Hayes" more breathing room than a 90-second version of "Ring of Fire." The sonics are enveloping, dynamic and holistic, favoring clarity and immersion over separation and perfection (although the harmonica just pops out of the mix on "Orange Blossom Special"), and even though the mid-show June Carter portion is truncated a bit due to a tape change, this recording absolutely puts the listener in the middle of the room, right alongside the hootin' and hollerin' crowd of hippies. © Jason Ferguson/Qobuz
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Pop - Released October 15, 2021 | Legacy Recordings

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Pop - Released October 15, 2021 | Legacy Recordings

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Pop - Released October 15, 2021 | Legacy Recordings

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Children - Released October 15, 2021 | Legacy Recordings

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Pop - Released October 15, 2021 | Legacy Recordings

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Italy - Released October 8, 2021 | Legacy Recordings

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Soul - Released October 8, 2021 | Legacy Recordings

Christmas Music - Released October 8, 2021 | Legacy Recordings

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Christmas Music - Released October 8, 2021 | Legacy Recordings

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Christmas Music - Released October 8, 2021 | Legacy Recordings

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Christmas Music - Released October 8, 2021 | Legacy Recordings

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Children - Released October 8, 2021 | Legacy Recordings

Christmas Music - Released October 8, 2021 | Legacy Recordings

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Pop - Released October 8, 2021 | Legacy Recordings

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Pop - Released October 8, 2021 | Legacy Recordings

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Pop - Released October 8, 2021 | Legacy Recordings

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Christmas Music - Released October 8, 2021 | Legacy Recordings

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Pop - Released October 8, 2021 | Legacy Recordings

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    Appalachia Folk: Johnny Cash Forever! Throughout his life and over the course of his fifty-year career, Johnny Cash released heaps of albums - he must have passed the hundred mark by far. And since his death in 2003, it's still going s...
  • Greatest Hits - The White Stripes
    Greatest Hits - The White Stripes It was about time. Separated since 2011, Jack and Meg White offer the first retrospective of their careers.