The energy that Johnny Cash and the Tennessee Three captured on the legendary Johnny Cash at Folsom Prison live record can probably never be duplicated. That being said, Hello, I'm Johnny Cash comes very close, blending slow talking-blues songs with steam-engine-paced country rockers. This forgotten album may be one of the five best in the Cash discography. It is fueled by great originals (like "Southwind" and "Route #1, Box 144") and well-executed covers (Kris Kristofferson's "To Beat the Devil" and Tim Hardin's "If I Were a Carpenter"). On top of that, those songs are upstaged by "See Ruby Fall" (co-written with Roy Orbison) and one of his best '70s hits, "Blistered." The lean, minimalist instrumentation of the Tennessee Three insures the album with great rhythm, and Johnny Cash's voice is as affecting as ever. Note: this album, which is currently out of print, should not to be confused with the 1995 Sony Music Special Products compilation of the same name.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Brian Flota