If you caught some of In The Pines on FBi 94.5 this week, you might have heard some of my slightly breathless chat with the charming Tex Perkins. 2009 was a pretty epic year for the singer, who somehow managed to take on the cheesiest ballads of the late 1970’s and early 80’s Josef Fritzl style with his white-suited band of merry men the Ladyboyz, redeem himself from these hideous cover versions with a string of troubadour style “serious” acoustic shows, and take on the lead role in a musical tribute show to the legendary Johnny Cash.
The Man In Black was first staged in Melbourne last year and is now a touring production, currently on stage at the Sydney Opera House.
When I asked Tex about playing Johnny Cash, he revealed his affinity with the legendary country singer goes back decades.
“Fortunately, I’ve done a lot of ground work for this role… 28 years ago with my first band The Dum Dums. We were a sort of country punk band at the time and we did a lot of Johnny Cash songs back then. I discovered then that his range sort of suited my range pretty easily. I guess I feel a sort of ownership of it because it is part of my history.”
The Man In Black is not so much a musical as a concert with stories about Cash’s life intertwined in-between musical numbers, which include classics like Folsom Prison Blues, Get Rhythm and I Walk The Line, as well as some of the more recent cover songs that the singer recorded with Rick Rubin for the career resurrecting American series.
If you want to head along to the show, tour details are on The Man In Black
And… since we’re talking all things Cash, Lost Highway has released the title track from the final instalment of the American Series, American VI: Ain’t No Grave. The single is available to download from iTunes and the album is scheduled for release on February 26 – the Man in Black’s birthday.