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Johnny Cash|Bear's Sonic Journals: Live At The Carousel Ballroom, April 24 1968

Bear's Sonic Journals: Live At The Carousel Ballroom, April 24 1968

Johnny Cash

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The idea of a live album as a documentary is a naïvely outdated one.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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Bear's Sonic Journals: Live At The Carousel Ballroom, April 24 1968

Johnny Cash

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1
Cocaine Blues (Bear's Sonic Journals: Live At The Carousel Ballroom, April 24 1968)
00:03:02

June Carter Cash, Guitar, Vocal - T.J. Arnall, Composer, Lyricist - Johnny Cash, Guitar, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, Vocal - Owsley Stanley, Producer - Luther Perkins, Electric Guitar - W.S. Holland, Drums - Marshall Grant, Bass

(P) 2021 Sony Music Entertainment

2
The Long Black Veil (Bear's Sonic Journals: Live At The Carousel Ballroom, April 24 1968)
00:03:11

June Carter Cash, Guitar, Vocal - Johnny Cash, Guitar, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, Vocal - Danny Dill, Composer, Lyricist - Marijohn Wilkin, Composer, Lyricist - Owsley Stanley, Producer - Luther Perkins, Electric Guitar - W.S. Holland, Drums - Marshall Grant, Bass

Originally recorded 1968 and released 2021 Sony Music Entertainment

3
Orange Blossom Special (Bear's Sonic Journals: Live At The Carousel Ballroom, April 24 1968)
00:03:03

E.T. Rouse, Composer, Lyricist - June Carter Cash, Guitar, Vocal - Johnny Cash, Guitar, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, Vocal - Owsley Stanley, Producer - Luther Perkins, Electric Guitar - W.S. Holland, Drums - Marshall Grant, Bass

Originally recorded 1968 and released 2021 Sony Music Entertainment

4
I'm Going To Memphis (Bear's Sonic Journals: Live At The Carousel Ballroom, April 24 1968)
00:04:06

June Carter Cash, Guitar, Vocal - H. Dew, Composer, Lyricist - Johnny Cash, Composer, Lyricist, Guitar, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, Vocal - Owsley Stanley, Producer - ALAN LOMAX, Composer, Lyricist - Luther Perkins, Electric Guitar - W.S. Holland, Drums - Marshall Grant, Bass

(P) 2021 Sony Music Entertainment

5
The Ballad of Ira Hayes (Bear's Sonic Journals: Live At The Carousel Ballroom, April 24 1968)
00:02:53

June Carter Cash, Guitar, Vocal - PETER LAFARGE, Composer, Lyricist - Johnny Cash, Guitar, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, Vocal - Owsley Stanley, Producer - Luther Perkins, Electric Guitar - W.S. Holland, Drums - Marshall Grant, Bass

(P) 2021 Sony Music Entertainment

6
Rock Island Line (Bear's Sonic Journals: Live At The Carousel Ballroom, April 24 1968)
00:03:04

June Carter Cash, Guitar, Vocal - John R. Cash, Composer, Lyricist - Johnny Cash, Guitar, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, Vocal - Owsley Stanley, Producer - Luther Perkins, Electric Guitar - W.S. Holland, Drums - Marshall Grant, Bass

Originally recorded 1968 and released 2021 Sony Music Entertainment

7
Guess Things Happen That Way (Bear's Sonic Journals: Live At The Carousel Ballroom, April 24 1968)
00:01:24

Jack Clement, Composer, Lyricist - June Carter Cash, Guitar, Vocal - Johnny Cash, Guitar, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, Vocal - Owsley Stanley, Producer - Luther Perkins, Electric Guitar - W.S. Holland, Drums - Marshall Grant, Bass

Originally recorded 1968 and released 2021 Sony Music Entertainment

8
One Too Many Mornings (Bear's Sonic Journals: Live At The Carousel Ballroom, April 24 1968)
00:02:03

June Carter Cash, Guitar, Vocal - Bob Dylan, Composer - Johnny Cash, Guitar, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, Vocal - Owsley Stanley, Producer - Luther Perkins, Electric Guitar - W.S. Holland, Drums - Marshall Grant, Bass

Originally recorded 1968 and released 2021 Sony Music Entertainment

9
Don't Think Twice, It's All Right (Bear's Sonic Journals: Live At The Carousel Ballroom, April 24 1968)
00:02:11

June Carter Cash, Guitar, Vocal - Bob Dylan, Composer, Lyricist - Johnny Cash, Guitar, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, Vocal - Owsley Stanley, Producer - Luther Perkins, Electric Guitar - W.S. Holland, Drums - Marshall Grant, Bass

(P) 2021 Sony Music Entertainment

10
Give My Love to Rose (Bear's Sonic Journals: Live At The Carousel Ballroom, April 24 1968)
00:02:28

June Carter Cash, Guitar, Vocal - John R. Cash, Composer, Lyricist - Johnny Cash, Guitar, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, Vocal - Owsley Stanley, Producer - Luther Perkins, Electric Guitar - W.S. Holland, Drums - Marshall Grant, Bass

Originally recorded 1968 and released 2021 Sony Music Entertainment

11
Green, Green Grass of Home (Bear's Sonic Journals: Live At The Carousel Ballroom, April 24 1968)
00:02:29

June Carter Cash, Guitar, Vocal - Johnny Cash, Guitar, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, Vocal - Curly Putman, Composer, Lyricist - Owsley Stanley, Producer - Luther Perkins, Electric Guitar - W.S. Holland, Drums - Marshall Grant, Bass

Originally recorded 1968 and released 2021 Sony Music Entertainment

12
Old Apache Squaw (Bear's Sonic Journals: Live At The Carousel Ballroom, April 24 1968)
00:01:29

June Carter Cash, Guitar, Vocal - Johnny Cash, Composer, Lyricist, Guitar, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, Vocal - Owsley Stanley, Producer - Luther Perkins, Electric Guitar - W.S. Holland, Drums - Marshall Grant, Bass

Originally recorded 1968 and released 2021 Sony Music Entertainment

13
Lorena (Bear's Sonic Journals: Live At The Carousel Ballroom, April 24 1968)
00:03:23

June Carter Cash, Guitar, Vocal - CHARLIE WILLIAMS, Composer, Lyricist - Johnny Cash, Guitar, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, Vocal - Owsley Stanley, Producer - Luther Perkins, Electric Guitar - W.S. Holland, Drums - Marshall Grant, Bass

Originally recorded 1968 and released 2021 Sony Music Entertainment

14
Forty Shades of Green (Bear's Sonic Journals: Live At The Carousel Ballroom, April 24 1968)
00:02:21

June Carter Cash, Guitar, Vocal - John R. Cash, Composer, Lyricist - Johnny Cash, Guitar, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, Vocal - Owsley Stanley, Producer - Luther Perkins, Electric Guitar - W.S. Holland, Drums - Marshall Grant, Bass

Originally recorded 1968 and released 2021 Sony Music Entertainment

15
Bad News (Bear's Sonic Journals: Live At The Carousel Ballroom, April 24 1968)
00:02:38

June Carter Cash, Guitar, Vocal - J.D. Loudermilk, Composer, Lyricist - Johnny Cash, Guitar, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, Vocal - Owsley Stanley, Producer - Luther Perkins, Electric Guitar - W.S. Holland, Drums - Marshall Grant, Bass

Originally recorded 1968 and released 2021 Sony Music Entertainment

16
Jackson (Bear's Sonic Journals: Live At The Carousel Ballroom, April 24 1968)
00:03:26

June Carter Cash, Guitar, Vocal - Jerry Leiber, Composer, Lyricist - Johnny Cash, Guitar, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, Vocal - Owsley Stanley, Producer - BILLY EDD WHEELER, Composer, Lyricist - Luther Perkins, Electric Guitar - W.S. Holland, Drums - Marshall Grant, Bass

Originally recorded 1968 and released 2021 Sony Music Entertainment

17
Tall Lover Man (Bear's Sonic Journals: Live At The Carousel Ballroom, April 24 1968)
00:02:18

June Carter Cash, Composer, Lyricist, Guitar, Vocal - Johnny Cash, Guitar, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, Vocal - Owsley Stanley, Producer - Luther Perkins, Electric Guitar - W.S. Holland, Drums - Marshall Grant, Bass

Originally recorded 1968 and released 2021 Sony Music Entertainment

18
June's Song Introduction (Bear's Sonic Journals: Live At The Carousel Ballroom, April 24 1968)
00:01:32

June Carter Cash, Guitar, Vocal - Johnny Cash, Guitar, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, Vocal - Spoken Word, Composer - Owsley Stanley, Producer - Luther Perkins, Electric Guitar - W.S. Holland, Drums - Marshall Grant, Bass

Originally recorded 1968 and released 2021 Sony Music Entertainment

19
Wildwood Flower (Bear's Sonic Journals: Live At The Carousel Ballroom, April 24 1968)
00:00:53

June Carter Cash, Guitar, Vocal - Johnny Cash, Guitar, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, Vocal - A.P. CARTER, Composer, Lyricist - Owsley Stanley, Producer - Luther Perkins, Electric Guitar - W.S. Holland, Drums - Marshall Grant, Bass

Originally recorded 1968 and released 2021 Sony Music Entertainment

20
Foggy Mountain Top (Bear's Sonic Journals: Live At The Carousel Ballroom, April 24 1968)
00:00:45

June Carter Cash, Guitar, Vocal - Johnny Cash, Guitar, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, Vocal - A.P. CARTER, Composer, Lyricist - Owsley Stanley, Producer - Luther Perkins, Electric Guitar - W.S. Holland, Drums - Marshall Grant, Bass

Originally recorded 1968 and released 2021 Sony Music Entertainment

21
This Land Is Your Land (Bear's Sonic Journals: Live At The Carousel Ballroom, April 24 1968)
00:00:55

June Carter Cash, Guitar, Vocal - Johnny Cash, Guitar, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, Vocal - Woody Guthrie, Composer, Lyricist - Owsley Stanley, Producer - Luther Perkins, Electric Guitar - W.S. Holland, Drums - Marshall Grant, Bass

Originally recorded 1968 and released 2021 Sony Music Entertainment

22
Wabash Cannonball (Bear's Sonic Journals: Live At The Carousel Ballroom, April 24 1968)
00:00:34

June Carter Cash, Guitar, Vocal - Johnny Cash, Guitar, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, Vocal - A.P. CARTER, Composer, Lyricist - Owsley Stanley, Producer - Luther Perkins, Electric Guitar - W.S. Holland, Drums - Marshall Grant, Bass

Originally recorded 1968 and released 2021 Sony Music Entertainment

23
Worried Man Blues (Bear's Sonic Journals: Live At The Carousel Ballroom, April 24 1968)
00:01:15

June Carter Cash, Guitar, Vocal - Johnny Cash, Guitar, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, Vocal - A.P. CARTER, Composer, Lyricist - Owsley Stanley, Producer - Luther Perkins, Electric Guitar - W.S. Holland, Drums - Marshall Grant, Bass

Originally recorded 1968 and released 2021 Sony Music Entertainment

24
Long Legged Guitar Pickin' Man (Bear's Sonic Journals: Live At The Carousel Ballroom, April 24 1968)
00:02:23

June Carter Cash, Guitar, Vocal - Johnny Cash, Guitar, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, Vocal - Owsley Stanley, Producer - Luther Perkins, Electric Guitar - W.S. Holland, Drums - Marshall Grant, Composer, Lyricist, Bass

Originally recorded 1968 and released 2021 Sony Music Entertainment

25
Ring of Fire (Bear's Sonic Journals: Live At The Carousel Ballroom, April 24 1968)
00:01:31

June Carter Cash, Guitar, Vocal - June Carter, Composer, Lyricist - MERLE KILGORE, Composer, Lyricist - Johnny Cash, Guitar, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, Vocal - Owsley Stanley, Producer - Luther Perkins, Electric Guitar - W.S. Holland, Drums - Marshall Grant, Bass

Originally recorded 1968 and released 2021 Sony Music Entertainment

26
Big River (Bear's Sonic Journals: Live At The Carousel Ballroom, April 24 1968)
00:02:33

June Carter Cash, Guitar, Vocal - Johnny Cash, Composer, Lyricist, Guitar, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, Vocal - Owsley Stanley, Producer - Luther Perkins, Electric Guitar - W.S. Holland, Drums - Marshall Grant, Bass

Originally recorded 1968 and released 2021 Sony Music Entertainment

27
Don't Take Your Guns to Town (Bear's Sonic Journals: Live At The Carousel Ballroom, April 24 1968)
00:02:38

June Carter Cash, Guitar, Vocal - Johnny Cash, Composer, Lyricist, Guitar, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, Vocal - Owsley Stanley, Producer - Luther Perkins, Electric Guitar - W.S. Holland, Drums - Marshall Grant, Bass

Originally recorded 1968 and released 2021 Sony Music Entertainment

28
I Walk the Line (Bear's Sonic Journals: Live At The Carousel Ballroom, April 24 1968)
00:03:38

June Carter Cash, Guitar, Vocal - John R. Cash, Composer, Lyricist - Johnny Cash, Guitar, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, Vocal - Owsley Stanley, Producer - Luther Perkins, Electric Guitar - W.S. Holland, Drums - Marshall Grant, Bass

Originally recorded 1968 and released 2021 Sony Music Entertainment

Album Description

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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