On October 12, the second annual Johnny Cash Music Festival was held in Jonesboro, Arkansas at the Arkansas State University Convocation Center. Hosted by his eldest daughter, Rosanne Cash, who, according to the Poinsett Democrat Tribune, stated ”I don’t get involved in a lot of things dealing with stories, books, movies and such about my father, but I want to be a part of this festival.” Rosanne Cash not only hosted, but sang at the event, performing ”I Still Miss Someone,” “Seven Year Ache,” “Long Black Veil,” “Delia’s Gone,” “I Don’t Know Why You Don’t Love Me,” and ”Tennessee Flat Top Box.”
Though this event is used to pay tribute to Cash, the proceeds have been used for very interesting causes. Last year, the money went toward purchasing Cash’s childhood home. This year, the proceeds are being used to make the home a tourist destination for Cash’s fans, both domestic and international, by Fall of 2013.
Highlights from the evening included the introduction of the first two recipients of ASU’s Johnny Cash Scholarship, Heather Myres and Ryan LaRue. Willie Nelson sang “Whiskey River,” “Hello Walls,” “Night Life,” “Crazy,” “Good Hearted Woman,” and closed with “Roll Me Up And Smoke Me When I Die.” Country music artist Dierks Bentley closed the show. Following the concert, Rosanne Cash called her aunt, Joanne Cash Yates, and uncle, Tommy Cash, on stage to wrap things up as everyone sang “Picking Time.”
Also in the news, for all of you Canadian readers, it has just been announced that a Johnny Cash tribute concert is set for Friday, November 2 at the Cameco Capitol Arts Centre in Port Hope, Ontario. The concert will be hosted by the Green Wood Coalition and the lineup features: Rick Fines, Digging Roots, Melwood Cutlery, Danny Brooks, Nancy Dutra, Jay Aymar, Kirsten Jones, and The Maple Leaf Champions Jug Band featuring Jimmy Bowskill and Carlos del Junco. The Green Wood Coalition utilizes their resources to address small town poverty and chose the music of Johnny Cash because “ throughout his career, Cash chose to align himself with the poor, prisoners, aboriginal people, and addicts.” I’d say that’s a pretty worthwhile cause. To be honest, I’d go just to see the Maple Leaf Champions Jug Band but that’s because jug bands are rare and awesome.