Musician Rosanne Cash has joined forces with artist and producer Ry Cooder for a five-city run of Cash and Cooder on Cash: A Musical Tribute to Johnny Cash. The performances are tribute to Johnny Cash by his daughter and Cooder featuring heartfelt personal interpretations of gems from his treasure-filled songbook.
The special performances will kick off on June 16 at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville then head to the Chicago Theatre in Illinois, Wang Theatre in Boston, Carnegie Hall in New York and close out on Nov. 3 at the Metropolitan Opera House in Philadelphia.
“When I was planning my residency in San Francisco, I couldn’t stop thinking about Ry,” said Cash who was selected at SFJAZZ’s as a resident artistic director where she spent time with Cooder. “He and I had only performed together a few times over the years, just a song or two and it always left me wanting more. We stayed connected by e-mail, sending old songs to each other and talking about music and politics. Knowing his general reticence to perform just for the sake of getting on stage and his impeccably high standards, I held back. I was nervous.”
Cash added in the release “Finally, I got up my courage and asked him if he wanted to make up a show – anything at all – and I offered a few ideas. He brushed off my initial thoughts, and said, ‘What springs to mind is a show of your dad’s songs. What else can I say?’ When Ry suggested it, oddly, I didn’t even hesitate. I said ‘Okay, let’s do Johnny.’ I told him that he was the only person on the planet I would do a show of Johnny Cash songs with. When I said that, I felt quite overcome with feeling. I knew I had waited for the right person, the right reason and the right place.”
“I was in the 4th grade and things were not looking up. Then one day they played ‘Hey Porter’ on the aircraft worker’s radio station,” said Cooder in a release. “In those days you heard Bob Wills and Webb Pierce, which was good, but Johnny was something different. It was like a hand reached out from my little Sears radio and grabbed me by the shirt and said, ‘you’re coming with me now.’ That was 63 years ago. So when Rosanne said, ‘Okay, let’s do Johnny,’ I said, ‘I think I’m ready.’”
Making up the band playing alongside Cash and Cooder will be esteemed guitarist and musical director John Leventhal, pianist Glenn Patscha, bassist Mark Fain, and drummer Joachim Cooder.