Johnny Cash: Bootleg Volume 3: Live Around the World

Johnny Cash In San Quentin Prison11Johnny Cash
Bootleg Volume 3: Live Around the World
(Sony Legacy)
In a world of social media and technology music is at the fingertips of fans instantly, so much so, they tend to take it for granted. Some bands even go so far as recording all their shows and having them online just hours after they left the stage.

Five and six decades ago the music industry was a lot different, so when Sony Legacy unearthed a back catalog of live and unreleased material from the legendary Johnny Cash it was quite the find. The label chronicled the material and called it the Bootleg Session.  Now, on the third chapter of the series, Sony Legacy has released Johnny Cash Bootleg Volume 3: Live Around the World.  The double-disc set coincides with the publication of John Carter Cash (Johnny’s son) memoir,” House Of Cash: The Life, Legacy and Archives of The Man In Black.”

Bootleg Volume 3 features 50 tracks (39 of them previously unreleased) of live and unreleased material spanning from 1956-1979. In all there are 10 shows cataloged here: Big “D” Jamboree in Dallas (1956); New River Ranch in Maryland (1962); Newport Folk Festival (1964); USO tour in Vietnam (1969); White House (1970); Osteraker Prison in Sweden (1972); CBS Records Convention in Nashville (1973); Carter Family Fold in Virginia (1976); Wheeling Jamboree (1976); and Exit Inn, Nashville (1979).

The first disc begins with The Big “D” Jamboree in Dallas in 1956 when Cash was in his Sun Records-era backed by the Tennessee Two (Luther Perkins on electric guitar and Marshall Grant on bass.) By 1962 the Tennessee Two had become the Tennessee Three with the addition of W.S. “Fluke” Holland on drums for the New River Ranch show. Just a short four year span, you can hear the growth and confidence in the band and Cash’s performance.

Two years later Cash is playing the legendary Newport Folk Festival where he is introduced by folk icon Pete Seeger.  This was the second year that Bob Dylan also played the festival as a solo acoustic folksinger. Cash brilliantly covers Dylan’s “Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright,” in his eight-song set which also features the Carter Family’s “Keep On The Sunny Side,” and the respected “Rock Island Line.”

Not one to back down, Cash made the trip, along with June Carter Cash, and Carl Perkins to play an NCO Club in Long Binh, Vietnam during the height of the war. Just completing the Folsom Prison San Quentin shows, Cash and crew rocks the soldiers with an amazing set which concludes with his current single at the time “Daddy Sang Bass.”

The second disc begins with arguably the most iconic performance – is the 1970 visit to the White House in DC when Cash was personally invited by then-President Richard M. Nixon. Fittingly, this show is the longest on Bootleg 3 featuring a dozen tracks. Though the set list was mostly old gospel hymns, Cash, along with the Carter Family and Carl Perkins played “A Boy Named Sue,” “Wreck Of The Old ’97” and “What Is Truth.”

Though the rest of the shows aren’t as historic doesn’t mean they aren’t just as good, don’t sell them short. From the first track to the last Johnny Cash Bootleg Volume 3: Live Around the World is a real treasure for Cash fans to have.