Judging by the Cash’d Out videos on YouTube and a phone interview with lead singer Doug Benson yesterday afternoon, next Wednesday’s show at Baked Beer & Bread in Davenport will be one fun, rowdy sing-along while sparking some memories of the Man in Black and his fans.
For about 90 minutes, Benson and his band mates, including drummer and co-leader, George Bernardo; guitarist Jimmy Muir and bass player Jason Chesney, will bring to life the music and stories of Johnny Cash. On display will be Cash’s biggest hits like Jackson, Ring of Fire and Walk the Line and also more obscure material like See Ruby Fall, Frankie and Johnny and Wreck of Old 97, said Benson. The band has earned big time props from notable band fans such as Johnny Cash’s daughter Cindy Cash; long time manager Lou Robin and Bill Miller, owner of JohnnyCash.com and the popular Johnny Cash Museum in Nashville, according to the Cash’D Out’s website.I caught up with Benson while he was in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, having a late breakfast of bacon-topped macaroni and cheese (“You know that’s a vegetable in the south,” Benson quipped.) before heading to the band’s next show in Regina. Cash’d Out will swing into Davenport and then circle through Minnesota, Wisconsin, Chicago and back to western Iowa as part of a month and half long tour loop. By the end of the year, the band will log 150 or more live shows. “They’re the best in the game,” said Sean Moeller, who booked Cash’d Out for the Davenport show via Moeller Nights. Tribute and cover bands aren’t typically the area’s primo original music discoverer’s bailiwick so I’d been curious and maybe even a bit confused and hesitant.
Benson gets the hesitation and while the band tries to do Cash’s songs as close to the originals as possible, they don’t consider themselves as impersonators or impressionists of the Man in Black or his band. “I’m not trying to be Johnny Cash,” says the performer. “We try to pay tribute to his music and his life.”
Benson started the band 13 years ago after he fell in love with the 1970 classic album Hello, I’m Johnny Cash on a vacation in Mexico. “For four days, the only time it stopped was when we had to change the batteries in the cassette player,” he recalls. At the beginning, the band’s intention was just to entertain friends; their first gig was a friend’s wedding reception. But within the next few years every show sold out and eventually Benson left his job as a technical rep for a cable company to go into performing full time. “I never planned on being a touring musician,” Benson said.
Benson says it means a lot when fans approach him after a show to tell him the performance sparked dear memories of Johnny Cash or of loved ones that were his fans. “When someone says, ‘you brought so many memories of my dad or grandfather,’ how special is that?” Benson relates. “That’s the reason to do this.”
Sounds like a great show. Cash’d Out will play at Baked Beer & Bread, 1113 Mound Street, Davenport, at 7 PM, Wednesday, June 28. Opening act is local traditional honky tonk band Fifth of Country. Get tickets to the Cash’d Out show here.
The video was posted by Cash’d Out November 11, 2015. I claim no rights to the content.
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