Treelady Recording Studios in Pittsburgh recently finished three mixes of Johnny Cash classics for the popular ROCKBAND video game series. First up was "Folsom Prison Blues." From from the album With His Hot and Blue Guitar, the song was originally released in 1957 on the infamous Sun Records label.
According to Michael Streissguth in his book "Johnny Cash at Folsom Prison: The Making of a Masterpiece", (Available on Da Capo Press (2004). ISBN 0-306-81338-6), Cash was inspired to write this song after seeing the 1951 movie "Inside the Walls of Folsom Prison (1951)" Cash recounted how he came up with the "Reno" line: "I sat with my pen in my hand, trying to think up the worst reason a person could have for killing another person, and that's what came to mind."
In the lyrics, the jailed protagonist listens to the whistle of a train outside his cell and recounts his crimes ("I shot a man in Reno/just to watch him die"), imagines the free people inside the train ("They're probably drinking coffee and smoking big cigars") and dreams of what he would do if he were free. "I know I had it coming/I know I can't be free," sings the imprisoned man. "But those people keep a'moving/and that's what tortures me."
Additionally, Treelady Mastering Studios finished two other Cash classics: "Tennessee Flat Top Box" and "I Got Stripes." Treelady Studios' Senior Engineer Rae DiLeo served as the Executive Mix Producer on the project, and served as a technical supervisor. The track will be available on an upcoming release for the RockBand video game. For more information about Treelady Studios, Pittsburgh's leading recording studio, please visit: www.treelady.com