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Even though Johnny Dollars passed absent in 2003, he is having a quite fantastic year in 2012. The hottest in a collection of occasions honoring the gentleman in black — an 80th-birthday tribute titled We Wander The Line: A Celebration Of The Audio Of Johnny Cash — drew a slew of GRAMMY-successful performers to Austin, Texas, for a energetic Friday-night time display on April 20 at Austin City Restrictions Are living at the Moody Theater.

Top billing went to Cash’s surviving Highwaymen brethren, GRAMMY winners Willie Nelson and Kris Kristofferson, who teamed with Shooter Jennings (son of late GRAMMY-successful Highwayman Waylon Jennings) and Jamey Johnson in a reunion of kinds on the tune “Highwayman.” Underneath a massive banner bearing an impression of Money strumming a guitar, flanked by two silhouettes, Nelson also teamed with GRAMMY winner Sheryl Crow on “If I Have been A Carpenter.”

Crow sounded just about as if she were addressing Money when she joked to Nelson, “I would surely have your little one — if I could. If I didn’t have two other folks of my own. And if you weren’t married. And if I wasn’t good friends with your spouse.” 

Audience customers cheered lustily in acceptance, as they did through most of the display, a taped-for-DVD advantage for the childhood muscular dystrophy basis Charley’s Fund. Just hours before, many of them had viewed as Nelson served unveil his new statue in entrance of the theater, which sits on a avenue also named right after him.

The event was manufactured by Keith Wortman with GRAMMY-successful producer Don Was serving as musical director. Was recruited Buddy Miller, Greg Leisz, Kenny Aronoff, and new Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Ian McLagan of the Faces as the household band. The handpicked all-star roster of performers ranged from Iron & Wine’s Sam Beam, Brandi Carlile, the Carolina Chocolate Drops, Andy Grammer, Amy Lee of Evanescence, and Pat Monahan of Prepare to Ronnie Dunn, Shelby Lynne, Previous 97’s guide singer Rhett Miller, Lucinda Williams, and even Austin-dependent actor Matthew McConaughey, who, in addition to emceeing, sang “The Gentleman Will come Around.”

“We preferred a authentic wide, numerous team of artists,” Wortman stated backstage. “With Cash, you might be as probably to come across his songs in a punk rock songs fan, a heavy metal lover and a Nashville audio fan, so he is not just a nation audio guy.” 

GRAMMY winner Monahan, who sang Kristofferson’s “Enable Me Make It Through The Night time,” commented before the clearly show, “I assume of Johnny Cash as a style, as you would assume of apparel, or audio or regardless of what. He was his individual issue. No can can actually explain Johnny Hard cash fully. 

“And no one particular could produce a tune pretty like him,” continued Monahan. “He sang hundreds of other songwriters’ tunes and he built people songwriters crucial for the reason that of the way he shipped what they were indicating. There is certainly not much that I really don’t regard about him, and I instructed his son [John Carter Cash] earlier that I’m almost extra impressed by the adore for his family than his new music.”

Lynne, who received the Most effective New Artist GRAMMY in 2000, sang “Why Me Lord,” a different song penned by Kristofferson, and delivered a spirited duet with Monahan on “It Ain’t Me Babe,” explained Income has influenced “all of us.”

“We value the majestic rise up that Johnny gave us all in the tunes small business. And he is also one of the great American icons of all time,” she added.

Amongst the acts who gained the loudest applause in a night time comprehensive of high-quantity appreciation was the GRAMMY-winning Carolina Chocolate Drops, the bluegrass quartet re-exposing the genre’s African-American roots. Their rendition of “Jackson” was among the quite a few highlights. Before, co-founder Dom Flemons revealed the personal inspiration of Cash’s catalog.

“Johnny Cash’s new music has had an influence on me as a rock and roll singer, a region singer, as a folks songs performer and great interpreter of track. I just like every thing that he is performed,” stated Flemons.

Bandmate Hubby Jenkins added, “Johnny Funds was truly terrific about putting psychological expense into each track that he sang.”

Co-founder Rhiannon Giddens reported Cash’s core was his voice and his subject matter matter, and no make any difference how a great deal output was added, it never ever diluted his concept. 

Miller, who named his band after “Wreck Of The Old ’97,” a track popularized by Dollars, explained their intent was to seem like “Johnny Dollars meets the Clash.” He also recalled constantly finding “Ring Of Fire,” a common inducted into the GRAMMY Hall Of Fame in 1999, on the tabletop jukebox all through childhood visits to a Dallas diner. 

“I did not know what it was about, but I knew that the man who was singing it was singing it with every thing he experienced,” mentioned Miller, dressed in black in homage to “a single of my all-time heroes.” “And there was so a great deal heart driving it, and so substantially conviction. And nobody could provide a track like Johnny Hard cash. He intended each individual word he reported, and if he did not suggest it, he manufactured it sound like he meant it.”

(Austin-based journalist Lynne Margolis at the moment contributes to American Songwriter, NPR’s Music of the Day and newspapers nationwide, as perfectly as numerous regional publications and NPR-affiliate KUT-FM’s “Texas Tunes Issues.” A contributing editor to The Ties That Bind: Bruce Springsteen from A To E To Z, she has also formerly penned for and Paste magazine.)