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New CD reviews for Eagle County

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“Johnny Cash At Folsom Prison: Legacy Edition” Columbia/Legacy

5 stars of 5

Does it get any more perfect than this? Not only does the Legacy Edition of “Johnny Cash At Folsom Prison,” come with Cash’s complete, unedited show from top to bottom, but it also contains his little-known second show and a DVD documentary full of special features and rare footage.



What this 40th anniversary re-release gives the Cash fan goes above and beyond what any of us deserve. The sound on both discs is crystal clear, which brings Cash’s booming bass vocals and backup band into the room, and reveals him at his best. The little jokes in between and during songs, the conversations with prisoners, the swearing that was previously omitted from earlier releases and the guest spots by Carl Perkins, The Statler Brothers and June Carter are almost overwhelming at times. It’s just too good.

Besides performing hits like “Folsom Prison Blues,” Ray Charles’ “Busted” and “Long Black Veil,” Cash breaks out lesser-known tracks like “Orange Blossom Special” to the prisoner’s wild shouts of approval. Every cough, voice crack, inmate comment and guitar strum is captured in immortal clarity ” it’s impossible to get any closer to the show without a time machine.



The bonus DVD features footage from inside the prison walls, as well as interviews with Merle Haggard, Rosanne Cash and former inmates actually at the show.

It’s a complete package that no Cash fan should be without.

” Charlie Owen, High Life writer



“Live At Red Rocks” DVD “Under A Blood Red Sky” Remastered CD Universal

4.5 stars of 5

As a package, this is a solid re-release from U2, whose popularity still remains huge throughout the world since the album “Under A Blood Red Sky” and the accompanying video “Live At Red Rocks” (available for the first time on DVD) was originally released in 1983 (can you believe it’s been more than 20 years now?).

As separate entities ” a live CD shot over the span of three show’s on the band’s War Tour and a DVD shot entirely at Red Rocks Amphitheater ” the two discs fulfill two distinct purposes.

“Under A Blood Red Sky” gives U2 fans the chance to hear the band in the raw during their early days, just before they broke away from the pack and became one of the top-selling bands of all time. Sure, it’s short, clocking in at just over 30 minutes, but it’s all good stuff, and their energy is nothing short of amazing.

“Live At Red Rocks” brings to life the visuals of a very special concert. Not only is it almost comical to revisit the hairstyles and bad fashion of the time, but just seeing them interact with the crowd and perform one hell of a show despite crappy weather is such a thrill.

Anyone who forgot why U2 is such a big deal needs to check this out.

” Charlie Owen, High Life writer

“Lucky Old Sun” (BNA)

2 1/2 stars of 4

This is the one Kenny Chesney watchers have been waiting for ever since the cuddle-bunny country superstar’s 2005 marriage to actress Renee Zellweger flamed out.

“Just Who I Am: Poets and Pirates” in 2007 sidestepped that issue with an album full of songs and sentiments written by others. Now he’s written or co-written five of the 11 songs on this latest collection, “Lucky Old Sun,” allowing the first glimpse of what’s been going on in his head and his heart.

Chesney’s concentrating here on the aftermath of heartbreak and broken dreams and what it takes to move forward after loss. There’s nothing in any of the songs to stoke gossip-mongers, but plenty to nurture fans who have been worried about the object of their affection. There’s also empathy for those who might be going through something similar (minus the paparazzi), but the result is more consoling than memorable.

This is a quiet, introspective collection, predominantly an effort to find comfort wherever it presents itself. Pain is evident, but not the intimate variety you’d expect from esteemed songwriters Rodney Crowell or John Hiatt. Relief from heartache is more crucial to Chesney than attempting to sort out what failings -” his or someone else’s ” might have brought it on.

There’s no country-rock bravado, just gentle acoustic guitars, reassuring piano accents and occasional steel drums to add the requisite soothing island flavor. He counts his blessings (“I’m Alive,” “Everybody Wants to Go to Heaven”) and leans on friends, with guest spots from Dave Matthews, Willie Nelson and the Wailers, all of whom show up to help jump-start the healing process.

” Randy Lewis, LA Times-Washington Post


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