A World Class Show
“The Spirit of Johnny Cash”
“The Spirit of Johnny Cash”
A concert dedicated to the extraordinary music of Johnny Cash.
Harold Ford, Laura Lucy & The Cash Band pay tribute to Johnny Cash and June Carter.
Mr. Ford’s performance as a Johnny Cash Tribute Artist is exceptional.
His striking resemblance to Mr. Cash elevates him to a class of his own.
“. . . I’m Harold Ford, but I feel the spirit of Johnny Cash.” Judging from the response, I would say that many in the capacity crowd at the Fort Salem Theater were feeling the same way . . .”
LIVE: Harold Ford & the Cash Band article Nippertown.com 10/8/11 written by Al Goldberg
|Johnny Cash’s music is presented in an informal ensemble of songs, spanning his entire career, creating a concert very similar to what Johnny would have produced and performed.True to Johnny’s style of showcasing guest artists and sharing the stage, you will hear The Highwaymen and Carter family songs as well as Statler brother harmonies recreated.
Laura Lucy as June Carter embodies June’s playful nature as she wraps the audience around her little finger. The endearing harmonies of Johnny and June come alive.
|The Cash Band, an extraordinarily talented team of four musicians/vocalists recreate the sounds of Johnny Cash’s rhythm section.
From the distinct lead guitar of Luther Perkins (Sten Isachsen) to the upright slap bass of Marshall Grant (Mitch Throop), the rolling drums of W.S. Holland (Peter Maine) and the solid rhythm of Les Wheeler’s acoustic guitar expect a brilliant sound.
This is a remarkable and memorable show. Performing to audiences in the US, Canada, Europe and beyond.
Read about Johnny Cash Tribute Artist Harold Ford, Laura Lucy & The Cash Band in this interview for a show in British Columbia, Canada:
Tribute to Cash, The Daily Courier – Kelowna, BC, CA
By Jude Campbell
Monday, October 24, 2011
It‘s the stuff dreams are made of, but seldom do those dreams come true.
Not so for Harold Ford, who stepped into the limelight one evening, belted out a couple of tunes, and brought the audience to their feet with thundering applause.
“I wasn‘t too hot on the whole idea,” Ford recalls, referring to the open mike night at a local nightclub in upstate New York, where he was prodded and cajoled onto the stage by his fiancee Gina Grillo.
“I‘d told her I would get up there sometime, but she just kept pushing, and finally I said well, OK, but what should I sing?”
Her suggestion to sing “some of those Johnny Cash songs” opened what would become a Pandora‘s Box of good things for the striking Cash look-alike with his natural deep baritone.
He warmed up by singing Folsom Prison and then did another Johnny Cash standard, Ring of Fire. By the time his stage debut was done, Ford knew he‘d found a new calling.
“I got a huge response from the audience, and pretty soon the people downstairs were coming upstairs, they were clapping and stomping their feet and it just kind of snowballed from there,” Ford said.
A logger in the Pacific Northwest area for most of his 61 years, Ford was raised in an all-American family, joined in on family sing-alongs with his mother, father and sister, and criss-crossed the country on back roads and corridors often with his own family.
“I was a logger for most of my life, but I had a very musical upbringing. Music was always part of my life,” he said.
“I started playing guitar when I was 14 on an acoustic Martin. Inside, I always had a secret desire; a deep, deep, deep urge to sing and perform on stage,” Ford explained.
That desire was always kept in check, while he plied his trade in Oregon and elsewhere, and now he banters that he is grateful that he was “always careful to not cut off my fingers with that chainsaw when I pretended it was a guitar.”
In true Johnny Cash style, Ford has gathered his own stories from his travels and adventures, and fully appreciates that the past two years as The Spirit of Johnny Cash have been like living inside a tornado.
“It‘s all happened so fast, it‘s been so successful, we‘ve hardly had time to think,” Ford said.
The show was so instantly successful that it bypassed the usual drudgery of up-and-coming hopefuls who pay their dues by playing in small nightclubs with desultory audiences.
“We kind of went straight to the top, with top dollars,” Ford mused.
“It‘s very hard to believe this is happening. The whole thing is moving faster than we can keep up,” he added. “We‘re always playing catch-up.”
From open mike to stage show, Ford and his band, which includes well-seasoned professional musicians on drums, guitar and bass, had a mere three weeks to pull together their show.
There was also a need to scare up a topnotch June Carter, which was proving to be problematic.
“We were searching far and wide with no results,” Ford explained. “a family friend Laura, kept asking if she could try out for it. We didn‘t take her seriously, but gave her a chance and we were shocked. She‘s a natural talent, has an outgoing personality and was perfect for the part. What we were looking for was right under our nose all the time.”
“When I look back on it, I realize I only knew about 10 Cash songs,” Ford said. “That‘s hardly enough to get going, so I had a lot of work to do.”
In short order, he upped the song list to 50 favourites from the Cash line-up.
Literally working under a pressing deadline, and with the help of his fiancee and now business manager, the group pulled together the production.
Ford remembers the deep satisfaction of standing on stage and realizing the audience was on their feet, applauding and whistling–-for him, for his performance, for his dream.
“I remember thinking, wow–-this is the real deal,” he said.
With his band members, including Sten Isachsen, Mitch Throop, Peter Maine and Les Wheeler, Ford created a show that was a tribute to a man he personally admired, a man who “talked from the heart, wasn‘t a manipulator and left his cards on the table.”
“People liked Cash,” he said. “He certainly had his share of tribulations, but he was honest.”
While some tribute artists spend serious time trying to emulate the look and sound of a singer, Ford doesn‘t need to try at all.
He has a startling and almost eerie physical resemblance to the fabled Man in Black, and his deep baritone resonates when he talks.
“I don‘t imitate Cash,” he notes. “I was born with this voice, I was born with the look.
“And now I‘m very thankful for it, and for the way audiences have responded to our show.”