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Byron Shire
May 11, 2021

In Solitary With the Man who Wore Black

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Johnny Cash was one of the most iconic, influential and enigmatic performers of the 20th century. In this brand-new intimate acoustic show, In Solitary, Daniel Thompson performs songs spanning Cash’s entire incredible career, telling the story of who Johnny Cash was, who he became and why his legend has grown since his death at age 72 in 2003.

Daniel’s very special guest on the In Solitary tour is multiple-award-winning singer/songwriter and longtime friend and collaborator, Mike Carr.

With his piano, guitar and vocals, Mike provides the perfect accompaniment to Daniel, his acoustic guitar and the songs of The Man in Black.

Johnny-Cash-Daniel-Thompson--01How does In Solitary differ from the other Johnny Cash tribute shows?

In Solitary focuses on the darker side of Cash and his music. The intimate, acoustic presentation allows me as a performer, as well as the audience, to focus on the lyrics and stories behind Cash’s biggest hits and darker songs.

The audience can expect to hear not only the big hits but also the songs from The Man in Black’s career that give an insight into who he was and what he was trying to say.

What do you bring to the role of JC?

I am a passionate music fan and I especially love the music and the story of Johnny Cash. I am fortunate that my voice suits these songs but there is much more to these songs than just having a deep voice.

They require an aggression and passion as well as some understanding of what Cash was about. I have spent many hours listening to, watching, and reading about Johnny Cash and he is an extremely complex character. I have only scratched the surface of understanding him and his character but I do feel that with what I have learned about Cash I am able to at least begin to approach these songs in much the same way as Cash did when he was performing them.

I would like to think that if he were in the audience, he would like what he hears.

Johnny-Cash-Daniel-Thompson--02-Why do you think Johnny has such a lasting and growing appeal for audiences?

More than anything I think fans find an honesty in Cash’s music. He wasn’t trying to hide behind anything and when he had something that he felt needed saying, he said it.

Johnny Cash’s music appeals to people on many different levels and for many different reasons.

If you ask 100 different Cash fans why they love his music, you’ll get 100 different answers. The Movie Walk the Line certainly helped to broaden Cash’s appeal but, more than anything, it’s his enormous and incredibly varied body of work that attracts new fans every day.

Why did Mr Cash wear black? Why do we love the outsider so much?

The initial reason for the black was simply a matter of matching black outfits for Johnny and the Tennessee Two but it became much more than that.

The black became a symbol for his outlaw nature and his extremely complex persona. It also came to represent a sadness expressed in his songs. In a lot of his music he was trying to bring light to things that he felt were wrong with many aspects of society.

He had a lot to say about inequality across all walks of life and the black helped to bring a level of seriousness and sombreness to some very important points he was trying to make.

I think everybody loves an outsider and especially an outsider who has something to say. In some ways we all feel like outsiders and in some ways we all would like to stand up for what we believe in.

Cash represents all of this in the best possible way.

Johnny-Cash-Daniel-Thompson--03What are the songs you most enjoy singing?

There are many great songs in the Cash catalogue and I enjoy lots of them for different reasons.

A song such as Hurt is incredibly powerful and always a challenge to sing so I always enjoy singing that.

A song such as Leonard Cohen’s Bird on a Wire is another one I enjoy as the audience is always dead quiet when I sing it. But then the big hits are great too and always present a certain challenge for me as a singer.

I am lucky as a singer that Cash had so many great songs and there is always work to do to perform them properly. It never gets boring performing any of these songs.

Do you think his story is an uplifting one?

I think Cash’s story is incredibly uplifting. Particularly the strength he found with the support of June.

He started with literally nothing and became one of the most influential personalities of the 20th century.

His music and life continue to inspire people from all walks of life to this day. He was able to not only overcome many of his demons but also to give a voice to other people who needed someone to speak up for them.

He was a dark and troubled person but he was able to overcome all of that and produce and amazing and meaningful body of work spanning nearly 50 years. Some of his most powerful material came when he was well into his 60s and in the years and even the weeks leading up to his death.

He was a truly unique and inspiring artist.

Johnny-Cash-Daniel-Thompson--04Do fans sometimes blur the lines between you as a performer and the real JC?

I don’t present myself on stage as though I am Johnny Cash so fans tend to look at me for what I am: a fan paying respect to an icon.

What should we expect for your local show?

A respectful and authentic tribute to Johnny Cash. Hits and favourites from Cash’s enormous catalogue and a great night of great music with a bit of insight in to who the Man in Black was.

Sunday at the Bangalow Bowlo.

4pm. Presales $30, door tix $35.


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