Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Dressed in Black: A Tribute to Johnny Cash

The last half decade has seen an explosion of Johnny Cash tribute albums. Leading the pack in 2002 was this indie-country oriented set produced by BR549's Chuck Mead. This compilation, probably due to its house band of Chuck Mead on guitar and Dave Roe on bass, flows together remarkably well considering the breadth of music included: the psychobilly of Rev. Horton Heat and the punk-country of Hank III and J.D. Wilkes of the Shack*Shakers as well as the Dale Watson's honky tonking and Bruce Robison and Kelly Willis's Americana.

This album has a general sense of sincerity and comfortableness that isn't exhibited in tributes (such as the Marty Stuart-produced Kindred Spirits) featuring better-known performers some of whom seem as if they are coming to the material for the first time. This album also gives some much needed attention to several people, such as Earl Poole Ball, Redd Volkaert, and Kenny Vaughan, who are better known as sidemen or backing musicians, allowing them to step up into the spotlight.

Listen:
Bruce Robison and Kelly Willis - Pack Up Your Sorrows
Damon Bramblett - I'm Gonna Sit on the Porch and Pick on My Old Guitar

Buy:
From Dualtone
From Amazon

5 comments:

LPC said...

Oh man, I LOVE Johny Cash..

-Terri said...

The past several years have also seen an explosion of Johnny Cash tribute bands as well. Bands have popped up to serve each region of the US. In my area (the Carolina's) we have The Folsom Prison Gang. They are actually pretty good and are not an impersonation band like some of the others.

Check your area and you will probably find a good tribute band in your region!

Joel @ Postmodern Sounds said...

I don't know of a band around Kansas City/Lawrence that's specifically a Johnny Cash cover band, but Cash songs are common in the repertoire of lots of the roots and country oriented hipster bands around here.

joeri said...

Johny is the best, the movie is great as well

Anonymous said...

Check out this album from a Johnny Cash Tribute band:

http://www.amazon.com/The-Folsom-Prison-Gang/e/B005C542MK

It is some good stuff!