Tex Perkins Man In Black Is Back And Its 100% Educational and Entertaining - Noise11.com
Tex Perkins

Tex Perkins Man In Black Is Back And Its 100% Educational and Entertaining

by Paul Cashmere on November 2, 2017

in News

Johnny Cash was a rock star. Yes, I know he played country music but his attitude was 100% rock.

In the newest production of ‘Man In Black’ Tex Perkins and Rachael Tidd do an amazing job of piecing together one of music’s greatest stories, the life of Johnny Cash.

As the show points out, Cash was happening in the south while the north was listening to Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Bing Crosby. There was attitude in the south and that attitude was articulated in the music of Johnny Cash.

If you’ve seen the movie ‘Walk The Line’ you will be familiar with part of the Johnny Cash story but ‘Man In Black’ goes much deeper. With dialogue written by Jim McPherson we learn of the torment of Cash’s early life on a cotton farm and the impact of the accidental death of his brother at age 14. Those years moulded who he became for the rest of his life.

Johnny Cash sang about trains and prisons. As Tex Perkins points out in the show, “he had an angel on one shoulder and the devil on the other”. He was equally comfortable with “God and cocaine”.

Lyrically a lot of Cash’s greatest songs came from others. His wife June Carter Cash wrote ‘Ring Of Fire’, Shel Silverstein wrote ‘A Boy Named Sue’, ‘Kris Kristofferson wrong ‘Sunday Morning Coming Down’ and Trent Reznor wrote the more recent ‘Hurt’ but when Cash sang those lyrics his life resonated from each song.

The songs from ‘Man In Black’ construct a chronological history of Johnny Cash. To do this, the obvious hits are often bypassed for songs that better fit the storyline. Songs like ‘Were You There’ in the first set and ‘I Got Stripes’ in the second set tell a story. ‘Man In Black’ is definitely not a Johnny Cash tribute show, it is a tribute to Johnny Cash.

The Man In Black band The Tennessee Four is Steve Hadley (bass), Dave Folley (drums), Shane Reilly (keys) and Matt Walker (guitar). What is remarkable about this setup is that it gives us a true sense of how an actual Johnny Cash show would have sounded 50 years ago.

‘Man In Black’ is a Helpmann Award winning show. The return of ‘Man In Black’ sees the show as strong as ever with over 4100 tickets sold for the five shows at Melbourne’s iconic Athenaeum Theatre. The show has a limited run over coming days. A longer national tour is being planned for 2018.

Duane McDonald of Regional Touring is presenting the current ‘Man In Black’ shows with Frontier Touring by arrangement with Premier Artists. “Man In Black is true bang for the buck,” Duane said. “I expected it to do well because the ticket gives the punter real value for money, an A-list Australian rock star in Tex Perkins and a catalogue of songs that scream music history. Tex is perfect to tell the Johnny Cash story. You couldn’t have a country singer in the role. Johnny’s music may have been pure country but his Johnny’s life was 100% rock and roll. Tex bring an authenticity to the story. Thats why the show works.”

Man In Black songlist

Act 1:

Tex Perkins The Man In BlackI Walk The Line (from Johnny Cash and his Hot Guitar, 1957)
Hey Porter (from Now There’s Johnny Cash, 1961)
Get Rhythm (from Greatest, 1959)
Big River (from Johnny Cash Sings The Songs That Made Him Famous, 1958)
Five Feet High and Risin’ (from Songs Of Our Soil, 1959)
Were You There (from Silent Witness Vol 1, 1995)
Don’t Take Your Guns To Town (from The Fabulous Johnny Cash, 1958)
Sunday Morning Coming Down (from Sunday Morning Coming Down, 1972)
Help Me Make It Thru The Night (Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash Duets, 2006)
It Ain’t Me Babe (from Orange Blossom Special, 1965)
Jackson (from Johnny Cash’s Greatest Hits Volume 1, 1967)

Act 2:

Folsom Prison Blues (from Johnny Cash and his Hot Guitar, 1957)
Busted (from Blood Sweat & Tears, 1963)
A Boy Named Sue (from At San Quentin, 1969)
I Got Stripes (from Old Golden Throat, 1968)
Long Black Veil (from Sunday Morning Coming Down, 1972)
I Still Miss Someone (from At Folsom Prison, 1968)
Man In Black (from Man In Black, 1971)
The Beast In Me (from American Recordings, 1994)
If I Were A Carpenter (from Hello, I’m Johnny Cash, 1970)
Hurt (from American IV: The Man Comes Around, 2002)
Ring Of Fire (from Ring of Fire, The Best of Johnny Cash, 1963)

Encore:

Long Legged Guitar Pickin’ Man (from Carrying On With Johnny Cash & June Carter, 1967)
Medley

Man In Black is on until November 4, 2017 at the Athenaeum Theatre in Melbourne.

Watch the final Johnny Cash performance from the Carter Ranch on 7 July 2003. Johnny died two months later on 12 September 2003.

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