Reviewed by Tony May
Some readers may recall the heady days of the original Sun Records, when musical giants stalked the land, and sounds were shatteringly raw and passionate, aaah, Messrs Presley, Perkins, Orbison, Lewis etc all sure did it for us back then. So did Johnny Cash. And so does 'Boom Chicka Boom' on which Ol' Golden Throat recaptures his early classic Sun sound, rich resonant bass voice to the fore, sparse instrumentation a la The Tennessee Two. Cash produces here a glorious splash of basic rockabilly shot through with gritty roots country. Track one "Backstage Pass", a live number, gives a behind the scenes look at a Willie Nelson concert, and introduces J.C.'s wry humour which permeates the album. "Farmer's Almanack" is specially rib-tickling, written by big John, as was the environment-conscious "Don't Go Near The Water". "Family Bible" borders on syrupy sentiment as an old time gospel type song, but having recently attended a Cash concert, I know the man's a sincere Christian. Backing musicians included the cream of Nashville mafia and borrowed songs come from such luminaries as Harry Chapin and Tom Russell. The evergreen Jordanaires crank-up hot backing vocals yet again, and the entire set crackles with the electricity of compulsive, timeless music.
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