The Mighty Cash Cats performed their award-winning Tribute to Johnny Cash with June Carter on Friday, September 6 at the Laemmle Music Hall in Beverly Hills, California. It was part of the Los Angeles premiere of the new award-winning Johnny Cash documentary, My Father and the Man in Black. Since June of 2012 it has been shown at 30 film festivals, in 15 different countries, the motion picture has won in 8 competitions.
What better band to open for the film than the internationally-acclaimed Mighty Cash Cats whose presentation spans over six decades of Johnny Cash’s career? For new readers, The Mighty Cash Cats consist of Michael J. Smith (lead vocals, guitar, harmonica and bass), Leticia Blumette (bass, lead vocals and guitar), Justin Young (drums and vocals) and Oliver Thin (guitar and vocals). (For this particular event guest musician Jim Bitale subbed for Thin on guitar.)
Once again arriving uncharacteristically early (for an L.A. gig anyway) your all too often penned-in penman procured parking gratis thanks to the aid of a nice blonde who works for Parking Enforcement. The over-priced auto dealership let yours truly know he was indeed in the right place despite the changes that had occurred in the past couple of decades since his last visit. After checking in at a special location outside the theatre and meeting up with second-time sexy sidekick Suzanne Garner it was finally time to enter the theatre to once again see The Mighty Cash Cats perform.
The band hit the stage at approximately 6:45 p.m before an audience of local politicos, critics, comedians, actors and of course the usual group of faithful followers, friends and family. This was going to be an entertaining evening in a vintage Beverly Hills venue. They opened with one of their stronger songs “Folsom Prison”. It was especially appropriate since the film for which they were opening including this period in Cash’s life. They also included “Get Rhythm” and another one of their strong standards “Ghost Rider In The Sky”.
The next number brought Blumette more into the picture as they performed the Johnny Cash and June Carter composition “Long-Legged Guitar-Pickin’ Man”. They closed the show with a fan favorite—the Wheeler and Leiber tune turned Cash-Carter classic “Jackson”. It marked the end of another successful set for the group and served as an apropos opening for the premiere of the award-winning documentary to possibly be reviewed by your rockin’ writer in a separate piece. Overall The Mighty Cash Cats performance was an exceptional intro to what would turn out to be an exceptional film.
My name is Phoenix and . . . that’s the bottom line.