There have been a number of tribute shows floating around celebrating the music of Johnny Cash, but no-one except Tex Perkins even comes remotely close. Perkins doing Cash is about as close as you’ll ever get to the real thing. Hang on, maybe it’s better, because you get Cash & Perkins…
Seven caught up with the Man in Black, Mr Tex P.
What do you think it is about Johnny Cash that still resonates with audiences today? Well, I guess it’s the songs, a lot of great songs… or perhaps the clothes. Black is the new brown which was the new black… remember?
What is it about a man with a dark side that is so attractive? I don’t see any John Denver tribute shows popping up in a hurry! Well actually, I think you’ll find there was a John Denver show… but yeah, I guess Johnny’s story is a classic.
Is this a tribute show per se? I guess it is, yes, but it’s more than just a tribute band playing music. It’s interwoven with dialogue. We tell the story of his life through song and story. It’s a far more theatrical experience.
What is your favourite Johnny Cash song? Well, it changes all the time but I’ve always loved Folsom Prison Blues and the audience really comes alive for this one. And ya gotta love a song with the lyric I shot a man in Reno just to watch him die!
Do you think there’s much of a chasm between the man and his music? Or does he pretty much sing it how it is? Oh yeah, whether he was singing about god, family and love or death, trains, prison and drugs – you could believe him…
Do you identify with the character that is Johnny Cash? Yes, I’m afraid I do.
Tell me about the band… Yes, it’s a great band. Such wonderful players: Steve Hadley on bass, Dave Foley on drums, Shane Riley on guitar, piano and pedal steel and recently the great Matt Walker has joined us on second guitar… they kill every single night.
Is there a June Carter Cash or did they run out of budget? That’s a strange question; of course there’s a June! If you’re going to tell the story of his life you really have to have the love of his life as well. June is represented by the wonderful Rachael Tidd who has been with the show right from the start.
Any surprises in store for the Star Court shows? Well now, if I told you, it wouldn’t be a surprise, would it?
Wednesday and Thursday at the Star Court Theatre in Lismore, 7:30pm.