Studio Tenn Theatre Company’s original production of “The Cash Legacy: A Musical Tribute to the Man in Black” celebrating the music of the legendary Johnny Cash opens February 19.
Presented by Firestone, the show runs through March 6th — including a performance on Johnny Cash’s birthday, Thursday, February 26th. Performances are held at 7 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and 2 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday at The Factory’s Jamison Hall, located at 230 Franklin Road.
Studio Tenn has just announced their six-person cast, four being Studio Tenn veterans and two are newcomers. “The Cash Legacy” is comprised of the following people:
Patrick Thomas (Studio Tenn’s “The Hank Legacy,” finalist on NBC’s “The Voice” season one)
Matt Haeck (“The Hank Legacy,” just released his first full length album Late Bloomer)
Carrie Tillis (“The Hank Legacy,” Studio Tenn Company Member, daughter of country music legend Mel Tillis)
Laura Matula (“Les Misérables,” Studio Tenn Company Member)
Griffin House (renowned Nashville-based singer/songwriter)
Sara Jean Kelley (Nashville- based singer/songwriter).
Don Chaffer (of Waterdeep) is handling the show’s musical arrangements and music directing. The band includes Jared Manzo, Jake Bradley, Caitlin Nicol-Thomas and Garett Buell.
Studio Tenn Managing Director Jake Speck said the creation of “The Cash Legacy” was spurred by the success of the company’s first original production in 2013, featuring the music of Hank Williams.
“Thanks to the overwhelmingly enthusiastic response to ‘The Hank Legacy’ from audiences, critics and the greater Nashville music industry and community, we are thrilled to continue this new Studio Tenn tradition of honoring Music City legends,” Speck said.
Through an innovative musical revue format, an ensemble of singers and instrumentalists will present the Man in Black’s colorfully Americana catalog in all its glorious shades of rockabilly, country, Gospel, blues and folk–including timeless classics “Folsom Prison Blues,” “The Man in Black,” “I Walk the Line,” “A Boy Named Sue,” “Jackson,” “It Ain’t Me Babe” and dozens more.
But while the framework of “The Cash Legacy” harks back to its Hank-inspired predecessor, Artistic Director Matt Logan notes that its music requires a different treatment: the bones of Hank Williams’ songwriting transcended genrefication – “this is essentially what our ‘Legacy’ series is all about,” Logan said–but the trappings of Williams’ output were foremost country-western. “However, in the case of Johnny Cash, there are many different tones and traditions in his music, by his own doing,” Logan said. “Where we injected stylistic variety into Hank Williams songs to showcase their universality, we have only to tease out and amplify the stylistic diversity that Johnny Cash’s catalog already embraces.”
Born in Depression-era Arkansas, Cash became famous for his rumbling baritone, rebellious spirit, prison concerts and of course, persistently dark wardrobe. His prolific career spanned more than fifty years and produced nearly twice as many albums. The last performance of his life took place at the 2002 awards ceremony of the Americana Music Association (AMA)–a fellow tenant of The Factory at Franklin, with offices just steps away from Studio Tenn.
AMA Director Jed Hilly said he’s excited that his Studio Tenn neighbors are paying tribute to an Americana mainstay in a fresh and powerful way.
“Studio Tenn’s professionalism and artistry combined with such legendary, celebrated music as that of Johnny Cash is a recipe for greatness,” Hilly said. “I cannot wait to experience ‘The Cash Legacy,’ and I’m so proud that it’s taking place right here in our community.”
To purchase tickets, please visit StudioTenn.com or call 888-664-6462.