Interview Done By Mike Wilkerson
MW: Please introduce yourself?
PM: My name is Paul McCann, I’m from Cavan, Ireland and I have recently developed a Johnny Cash Tribute band together with some incredibly talented friends.
MW: What made you decide to do a Johnny Cash tribute?
PM: I was brought up listening to Johnny Cash records. My mother was always a huge Johnny Cash fan. I always loved his music, but when he started releasing the Rick Rubin produced American Recordings albums, I took a much keener interest in his music and his incredible back catelog. The idea to start a tribute band started as a much smaller idea, with myself and three friends playing some basic Johnny songs. Then I had the idea to include a backing band to recreate what Carl Perkins and The Carter Family brought to Johnny’s sets. It really takes the songs to a whole new level.
MW: What is your favorite song to play live?
PM: At the moment, I am REALLY loving Daddy Sang Bass. Anything where the whole band is contributing really sounds incredible. We’re in the early stages of working on a song called ‘Children, Go Where I Send Thee’, which is an African Gospel song which Johnny used to play live. Everyone in the band has a line to sing, so I’m very excited about that one right now.
MW: Give me a sample song list?
PM: We start the set with song of the classic band songs like Folsom Prison Blues, Boy Names Sue, Cry Cry Cry, Cocaine Blues, strip things down in the middle for Give my love to Rose, Hurt, Drive on and Delia and then get the whole band out for Ghost Riders, Jackson, Ballad of the Teenage Queen, Daddy Sang Bass and Ring of Fire. That’s just a few of the songs we’re doing.
MW: How many shows a year does ‘Get Rhythm – a tribute to Johnny Cash’ do?
PM: I couldn’t really say that at the moment. We are still in the process of scheduling our prison tour which is 8 shows and counting. We are hoping to get a few ‘non prison’ shows organized soon, as there has been incredible interest from people to come see us. Its very refreshing.
MW: Where are some of the places you have played?
PM: We have just completed the first of our Prison shows in Loughan House Prison. That was an incredible experience.
MW: What has been your biggest crowd? And where?
PM: Prior to our recent prison show in Loughan House to about 150 people, our biggest crowd was for a recent video shoot we done at a railway station. There were 2 people filing us….and 5 friends spectating (including our drummers wife and 2 kids)….so up to last weeks prison show, 7 people has been our biggest crowd.
MW: What can fans expect from ‘Get Rhythm – a tribute to Johnny Cash’ in 2013?
PM: Its been a very busy year so far, getting the set together, meeting with the Prison officials and organizing that side of things. As I said, it would be great to get some nice theater venue gigs and take this show around the country. Time will tell.
MW: Do you have stuff you sale at shows?
PM: All we sell at our shows is the best damn performance we can.
MW: Do you have a website where you sale stuff?
PM: We have an official Facebook page. At the moment, we do not sell merchandise, but if the demand arises, we will start.
MW: Do any of the members of ‘Get Rhythm – a tribute to Johnny Cash’ have a original project?
PM: Yes, myself and three other members of the band also have an originals band called ‘The Wags’. We’ve been lucky enough to play some incredible venues including several shows at Liverpools Cavern Club, and also played and recorded with numerous musicians in the past, including members of the Brian Wilson Band/Beach Boys, The Duckworth Lewis Method, Pugwash and Picturehouse.
MW: Where is ‘Get Rhythm – a tribute to Johnny Cash’ from?
PM: Get Rhythm are a Cavan based band. We all grew up in the same area and have been playing music together for years.
MW: Give me a day in your life.
PM: “Wake up, get out of bed…drag a comb across my head”. Lately my days consist of very little sleep. We’re practicing a lot for these shows right now, so when I’m not practicing….I’m constantly reciting lyrics. It’s beyond me how Johnny Cash could remember ALL of those lyrics. He recorded over 1,500 songs, not to mention live performances and duets of other peoples songs on The Johnny Cash Show which aired in between 1969-71.
MW: How can someone book ‘Get Rhythm – a tribute to Johnny Cash’?
PM: People can contact us via our Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/GetRhythmATributetoJohnnyCash) or contact myself on 087 6347784 or our Manager, Aine, on 086 1275310.
MW: What would you like to say in closing?
PM:We’re very interested in touring the country and hopefully perform Johnny Cash’s music to a variety of audiences and hopefully encounter new experiences. Since our first shows are primarily for prisoners, we would love to hear other ideas on where to take this show.
“Success is having to worry about every damn thing in the world, except money”. Johnny Cash.
Thanks one n’ all.