Thu, 24 Oct 2019
Picture Brian Harrington
Keep it Cash, at Arlington Arts, Snelsmore, on Friday,
REVIEW by BRIAN HARRINGTON
THE ‘Man in Black’ – Johnny Cash – was without doubt a legendary figure in country music. Career record sales in excess of 90 million attest to his huge popularity. Keep it Cash are a four-piece band who, since 2002, have dedicated themselves to the most faithful possible tribute. Frontman Dave Burnham is a long-term avid fan and his vocals really echo the timbre and resonance of Cash’s famous tones.The band have often been cited as the most accurate Johnny Cash tribute around and they were chosen to play at the launch party of the film Walk The Line. Tonight was their second appearance at Arlington Arts and their setlist spanned Cash’s career from the 1950s through to his death in 2003.
Opening with a brief instrumental teaser of Walk The Line, the band seamlessly segued in to the classic Ring of Fire, followed immediately by Folsom Prison Blues, much to the delight of the audience. With a minimum of chat they truly let the music do the talking and cleverly mixed tracks that Cash wrote with songs he chose to cover, such as The City Of New Orleans, a Steve Goodman song which describes a train journey from Boston to New Orleans. Five Feet High And Rising and One Piece At A Time effectively highlighted the less serious side of Cash, while Twenty Five Minutes To Go, a song about a death row inmate, was outstanding and Hurt, a track originally recorded by the hard rock outfit Nine Inch Nails, was brilliant.
The second half included A Boy Named Sue, San Quentin, Ghostriders In The Sky, Get Rhythm and many more huge hits and the excellent and poignant Ballad Of Ira Hayes before culminating with Walk The Line and, as an encore, a reprise of Folsom Prison Blues.
A fitting tribute to a country music giant.