CASH: Music, Legacy, & Redemption

“The concert was relaxing, and brought back a lot of memories of my childhood, listening to Cash and having breakfast with my parents before school.”

Danny Wilson and Tracy Schlapp formed the band, Luther’s Boots, to pick up the thread of Johnny Cash’s musical and social/political legacy. During 2018, they toured Oregon prisons playing Cash’s “At Folsom Prison” to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the album’s release. The tour dubbed Folsom50 took the band to eleven of the fourteen prisons in Oregon, including FCI Sheridan. 



 “CASH: Music, Legacy, & Redemption”  a musical/lecture describes the project through acoustic excerpts of select Cash songs, punctuated with stories of bringing a concert and art to adults in custody. The Folsom50 shows were designed to broadcast the experience of folks inside in order to educate people about the needs of adults in custody. After touring the prisons statewide, the band members have experienced the power of making a positive connection.  The lecture is designed to cultivate an audience of students, artists, and citizens willing to advocate for adults in custody. We believe in the seeds that are sown when people are brought into a space filled with art, music, and ideas.



FOLSOM50 co-producer, Tracy Schlapp has written an essay that unfolds during the year of rehearsals and performances with the band Luther’s Boots. 

Part 1: Music was distributed in artist books and used as show programs in the prisons. The essay looks closely at the original prison concerts and contextualizes it through Cash's biography, his own writing, and the songs themselves. The essay weaves together the themes found in the songs Cash chose and finds the contemporary counterpoints in Oregon’s prison system.  The Oregon Arts Commission provided a generous grant to publish a limited-edition Scoutbook to help document the project.