“I See A Darkness” is the title of an interesting comic book recently published by Bao Publishing. The author is Richard Kleist and the protagonist is Johnny Cash, one of the most important authors of the contemporary music scene. On the one hand, as is evident, because it was a great innovator in the field of country – making a necessary contribution to the traditional patterns of the genre – and on the other because of biography is totally reflected in his musical production. This has meant that Cash, in his long career, he managed (more or less voluntarily) to build the fundamental grip between life and art, which led him to imagine a musical narrative, and at the same time a draft interpretation many elements of more traditional country language, in a completely new way. As you can read in some of the presentation of the book notes, Cash played the country “as it had never been played before, aggressive and fast”, managing to establish not only a kind of primacy in innovation, but to build relationships (now naturalized and therefore obviously necessary) with rock’n’roll and, consequently, with a few pioneers such as Elvis Presley and Jerry Lee Lewis (with whom he shared many stages during the tour passionately documented in the biopic “Walk the line” ). This new and original contribution to the figure of the singer-songwriter died in Nashville September 12, 2003, is emerging as a new reading, certainly influenced by the myth that envelops the figure of cash, but also focus on his words, notes that produced with effort between drugs, leaks, spills, rehabilitations, passions and loves. It can also be interpreted as an opportunity to reflect anew on a figure at all conventional, which has been able to confront the contemporary music scene (think of the cover of “Hurt” by Nine Inch Nails, or the collaboration with U2 in song “the Wanderer”, appeared in “Zooropa” of 1993) in old age, or who has been able to bring the popular musical expressions to the most disadvantaged social categories, as he showed us with “Folsom Prison Blues” and the concert (with subsequent albums same name) “at San Quentin”, held on February 24, 1969 in the maximum security prison in San Quentin in California.
This article is available also in: Italian