Clara | Saturday May 24th, 2014
Johnny Cash once said: “Sometimes I am two people. Johnny is the nice one. Cash causes all the trouble. They fight.” The great man in black was one of the most popular artists of the 20th century, and, even if his fame was intermittent – because of his addiction problems and his turbulent life – his influence was not. In spite of the ups and downs, he always loved playing live, in front of big audiences, offering great concerts. One of the classic performances was in Montreux, Switzerland in 1994; JOHNNY CASH: LIVE AT MONTREUX.
Many say that his success was due to the authenticity of his music; he was intimate with the pain sorrow pouring out in his songs. Unlike many artists who only care about making it to top ten, Cash knew how music could boost the mood of those who hear it, and that became his commitment. Apart from his first years as a rockabilly singer, he always worked on the border between rock ‘n’ roll and country. And he was always on the razor’s edge between good and bad, happiness and sadness, and enthusiasm and apathy.
JOHNNY CASH: LIVE AT MONTREUX documents his only appearance in 1994 at the Montreux Jazz Festival, that took place not long after the release of the first of his American Recordings albums. Cash did not talk much between each song, there was no time lost on stage and indeed, the album run-time is longer than the concert itself. Johnny Cash also wanted to offer the nostalgic some of his firsts hits, like”Ghost Riders in the Sky,” “Orange Blossom Special” and “San Quentin”. But he did take the time to introduce the rest of musicians, many of whom have work with him for many, many years. Towards the end of the concert, June Carter Cash joined her husband to sing”Jackson” and “Will the Circle Be Unbroken”. The quality of the video is extremely good, in all senses; it finds the perfect balance between general and detail shots, and shows every single thing that went down live in Montreux that night on stage.
Clara Rodríguez Arasanz