Johnny Cash

With His Hot and Blue Guitar

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Johnny Cash's first album, released on Sun in 1957, is a little more folkloric and traditional than what he put on most of his singles, though not pronouncedly so. In fact, four of the tracks ("I Walk the Line," "Cry! Cry! Cry!," "So Doggone Lonesome," and "Folsom Prison Blues") had already been hit singles. For the rest of the set, Cash drew on some older folk ("Rock Island Line," "The Wreck of the Old '97"), country ("[I Heard That] Lonesome Whistle," "Remember Me [I'm the One Who Loves You]"), prison ("Doin' My Time"), and spiritual ("I Was There When It Happened") songs. Filling out the set is a good, rollicking Cash original, "Country Boy," and a rather sassy tune by the young Jerry Reed, "If the Good Lord's Willing." It's a good, solid record that's very much in the mold of his classic early Sun sound, with spare accompaniment that nevertheless often approaches a rockabilly-country bounce.

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