Entertainment Weekly - p.97
"[Cash was] all but inciting riots with his rockers and incendiary remarks, then calming the captives with hymns." -- Grade: A
Q - p.1264 stars out of 5
-- "[A] gruff, no-frills performer with a voice like a bag of rusty nails scattering noisily over his career highlights."
CMJ - 6/19/00, p.32
"...This beefed-up landmark release reissue contains nearly an album's worth of extra material..."
Dirty Linen - p.56
"[I]t is certainly the stuff of legend, and this expanded edition brings the drama and excitement of that evening back to life."
Personnel: Johnny Cash (vocals, guitar); June Carter Cash, The Carter Family, The Statler Brothers (vocals); Luther Perkins, Bob Wootton, Carl Perkins (electric guitar); Marshall Grant (bass guitar); W.S. Holland (drums).
Audio Mixer: Vic Anesini.
Liner Note Authors: Johnny Cash; June Carter Cash; Marty Stuart.
Recording information: San Quentin (02/24/1969); San Quentin State Prison, CA, Unites States (02/24/1969).
Photographer: Jim Marshall .
One of country music's unequivocal stars, Johnny Cash retained respect for the travails of the audience elevating him to that position. Recorded live at one of America's most notorious prisons, this album displays an empathy bereft of condescension and captures a performer combining charisma with natural ease. The material is balanced between established favorites and new material including "Wanted Man" (an unrecorded Bob Dylan song), and the lighthearted hit "A Boy Named Sue." It was not the first time Cash had recorded in a penal institution, but this appearance, at a time when American values were vociferously questioned, suggested the artist's rebelliousness had not dimmed.