Saturday, October 17, 2009

The Man In Black - The Johnny Cash Story

Last night I went to see the fantastic Man in Black show staring
Tex Perkins, Rachael Tidd and the Tennessee Four.
The show is running a season here in Brisbane at the Twelfth Night
Here's the official publicity blurb.

Two hours of Cash’s magnificent music interwoven with the story
of his rise to stardom, his fight for survival and his eventual
redemption.The show explores his relationships –
with hardened prisoners to the beautiful June Carter and lots in
between.Johnny Cash was dealt a very tough hand, early in life,
but through his music and dedication, he became a legend throughout
the world

The incredible Tex Perkins is perfect in the role of Johnny Cash,
often he sounded just like Cash while singing.
He was certainly convincing, his performance like acting as much
as singing. A truly brilliant performance. The audience had a large,
lets say, older age demographic. Tex was no doubt unfamiliar to
these people, but he had them eating out of his hand.

Rachael Tidd was equally brilliant, I was unfamiliar with her
so here's a bit about her.

Rachael studied and played music before training as an actor at
the Victorian College of the Arts, graduating in 1997.
Since then she has performed in theatres all over Australia,
playing an electric guitar-wielding ingenue in Shakespeare
and an accordion-bending, saxophone-toting gangster moll in
amongst others. She has appeared in musicals such as
Patsy Cline and Sondheim’s Company, and counts
herself lucky to
have been part of many premiere productions
and workshops including

All Het Up, Spontaneous Broadway, Your Dreaming and Sign of
Seahorse with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra.
She has worked with Melbourne Theatre Company, Sydney
Theatre Company,
Playbox/Malthouse, Chamber Made,
Majestic, Handspan, Theatreworks,

Really Useful Company, and Australian Shakespeare Company
to name a few.
Rachael has to her credit a sprinkling of screen
roles, and holds a
Masters Degree in Speech and Language
Pathology from La Trobe University.

She is also a voice and accent specialist, working regularly in
television and radio.

She has the most incredible voice and of course played the role of
June Carter, Cash's incredible wife and co-performer, for some
40 years.

The songs well lets see what I can remember.
Ring of Fire, I Walk the Line, Folsom Prison Blues,
Sunday Mornin’ Coming Down, Get Rhythm,
A Boy Named Sue, Hey Porter, Hurt, Bird on a wire,
Jackson, Were You There (When They Crucified My Lord),
Help Me Make It Through The Night, It Ain’t Me Babe,
Busted, Cocaine Blues, Greyston Chapel, Starkville City Jail,
Man In Black, 25 Minutes To Go, Dirty Old Egg-Suckin’ Dog
and If I Were a Carpenter.

The highlights, well the big songs were all highlights but special
mention goes to Jackson, perhaps the greatest duet of all time,
Hurt, this was incredible as haunting as the Cash version,
Were You There (When They Crucified My Lord),
given extra significance as Tidd and Perkins account for the period
surrounding Cash’s brother Jack’s untimely demise at the hands
of a whirling table saw in 1944,
It Ain’t Me, Babe, another fantastic duet and just a great song,
as was If I Were a Carpenter.
Of course Ring of Fire the song June wrote for him and
the very last song John performed before his death
was a fitting end.
A fantastic tribute and that's never going to be an easy thing to
pull off when you are talking about someone with a legacy
such as that of Johnny Cash.

The Band , oh weren't they great, they played every song with the
up most respect for the songs, faithful in the reproductions.

The Tennessee Four.

Dave Folley, Shane Reilly, Steve Hadley and Shannon Bourne.


John said...

Looking forward to this one Bob. Will pen a few words from next Saturday nights performance.

Bob, Brisbane, Australia said...

See if you cant get some photos too.
Not easy with all the no cameras signs around.It was a great show Im sure you shall love it

Anonymous said...


Tex Perkins as Johnny Cash!

You guys seem to have it all down there. What a fantastic looking production. You couldn't have picked a better group of musicians to play those parts.

My smile from watching that would have been so big, it could have been used as a secondary spotlight.

Great post and fantastic pix.
Thanks Bob.


Bob, Brisbane, Australia said...

Hi Chris I think its a good enough producion to tour it in the states, sort of like selling ice to eskmo's

Bruce said...

Hi Bob

Great show - saw it on Saturday night.

I reckon the band listing is from the Melbourne shows.


Bob, Brisbane, Australia said...

I thought that looking at the photos I couldnt see any one who looked like the band members I'd recognize.
The electric Guitarist was a bit too skinny

Anonymous said...

It was a fantastic review of Johnny Cash and June Carter. I would see it again.

Anonymous said...

There's a set list here.

John said...

Righteeeoh! A bit slow to get back to write a few words but time does get away. Not sure what to add to Bobs well written revue. Bob is sure right about the age of the audience, not that I can complain too hard (sadly). It was very very much an older crowd and the other half and I had previously seen Steeleye Span at the Tivoli a couple of weeks back and she had commented/complained about the fact that the crowd was ancient and what the hell was she, a mere whipper snapper in her mid forties doing there. I have not had a go back at her (perish the thought as she is the cook after all) for the attendance at the Cash thingy as she, and the other 3 lady friends that we attended the gig with, all thought it utterly superb and would all attend again in a heartbeat. One specifically has severe groupy instincts towards Tex so all claims by her that the show was absolutely brilliant must be taken with a huge grain of salt haa haa!

Having said all that it would be a unfair to Tex et al to take my musings as to the gushings of a potential middle aged groupie as some form of criticism as it was a very good show indeed. To be frank these style of shows (shall we say cabaret for the blue rinse set of Twin towns haa haa) are) are not my cup of tea generally but I would be a sad individual indeed to complain. It was indeed a fine night and Tex and Rachael were oustanding along with the fine backing band.

2 final things. How good was the bass player and I just love that organic sound of a double bass and pics Bob? What the hell! I forgot to think of even taking a camera. Sorry :-(

Bob, Brisbane, Australia said...

Tex has that effect on the ladies,
have you heard the song
"I want to be Tex Perkins"
It does get you wondering what type of shows for the blue rinse set there shall be when we are in our sixty's.
I have to say its rare I feel like a whipper snapper these days being in my mid forties, so good on your other half for keeping the illusion going. It was a fine band and double bass not only sounds good, it looks great too!

Bob, Brisbane, Australia said...

I seem to have lost this comment

TheeMidnightCreep has left a new comment on your post "The Man In Black - The Johnny Cash Story":

Wow...this sounds amazing...any chance of getting a soundboard copy of one of these shows to share with us less fortunate americans out here?
wishful thinking i'm least i can live vicariously through your review...thanks for the post

To TheeMidnightCreep, if a recording of anykind turns up I shall be posting it, I think a dvd should be made.

steve said...

Hi All.
Steve Hadley here (bass player and Music Director for The Man IN Black.
There will be a DVD,a Documentary and a CD that we may be going to Sun Records to make next year.
please don't post bootleg recordings of the show.
glad you enjoyed the show,wer'e all having a ball.cheers.Steve

jonesy4567 said...

I can only reiterate everything said by Bob. Fantastic show, cant wait to see it again next year!

staggerlee said...

hey bob,has there been a bootleg of the show?? can we download it somewhere? pleaseeeeeeeeeeeeee???

Bob, Brisbane, Australia said...

Nope sorry staggerlee guess we have to wait for the offical one