San Diego’s best Johnny Cash tribute band has signed on to do a charity show at the Belly Up Tavern on Dec. 13, with Hell on Heels Burlesque Revue and Brennen Leigh, benefiting the Toys for Tots of San Diego. Cash’d Out is one of the only Johnny Cash tribute bands that are actually fully endorsed by Johnny Cash’s official Web site, which even links the band on the site.
Cash’d Out always puts on a blazing performance and tickets for their shows almost always sell out before the actual day of the show. The band rekindles the vibes of Cash’s early days at Columbia and tries to achieve that Sun Records sound at their shows. The band’s own logo boasts “the next best thing to Johnny Cash.” In fact, just recently, they were asked to play at the Fender Museum’s Johnny Cash exhibit. Bill Miller, who owns Johnnycash.com and was the Man in Black’s good friend for more than 25 years, saw their performance and said he was floored. “Some people are impressionists,” Miller said. “Some people make impressions. Cash’d Out makes an impression. … these guys are the real deal.” Strong words of praise coming from a man who knew the late Mr. Johnny Cash for so many years.
The kind words and praise that have been heaped upon this band are not unfounded. The band honestly does a great service in honoring Cash and his music, taking care in playing his songs the way he did and even taking care to look much like the real band did during that era. With more than four hours of music in their arsenal, Cash’d Out knows more than 100 Cash songs, including the ones recently made more popular with the movie “Walk the Line.”
Cash’d Out is truly one of the bigger bands to have started and come out of San Diego’s local music scene. A little more than eight years ago, lead singer Douglas G. Benson had envisioned putting a band like Cash’d Out together but had one problem: he had the voice but not the guitar. So one Christmas, his parents bought him a guitar which he practiced every day. Finally, he put an ad out in the San Diego Reader and he got a call from guitarist Kevin Manuel. Kevin also knew bass player Sean Gilthero and the guys started jamming, picking up drummer Andy Robillard soon after. Only eight months after their first jam session, Cash’d Out has been playing shows nonstop in San Diego and abroad.
Cash’d Out frequently plays local North County venues like the Belly Up, which is just a few steps from the train station in Solana Beach. On Dec. 13, the band will be headlining the charity show, where all attendees are asked to bring one new, unwrapped toy, and Marines will be standing by to help collect them for underprivileged children in San Diego.
So if you want to warm your heart and check off a good deed this Christmas, I recommend checking out the Dec. 13 show and bringing that new, unwrapped toy for a child who will undoubtedly enjoy it as much as you enjoy giving it. After all, it’s the season of giving, and many children this holiday will not get to experience all of the joys that other children may have, but this way you can do your small part in helping them have a wonderful Christmas. And as a bonus, you’ll get to see one of the best shows of your life; I guarantee you won’t regret it.
For more information on the show and the other groups performing that night, please visit www.bellyup.com where you can also purchase your tickets ($15 presale/$17 day of). I recommend buying yours early because these shows always sell out. See you there!
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