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Folsom Prism / Blog

Johnny Cash Lives!

On Friday, September 12th, 2003, at 2:06am, at age 71...Johnny Cash died. Just under four months earlier, his wife of 35 years, June Carter Cash passed away. We at Folsom Prism have tried to resuscitate their lives, passion, legacy, heritage, and music. Truth is, no one can sound like him. But I try. Reality is, that no one quite has the southern drawl, flat resonance that rang through her microphone either; but our girl, Brynn Cellan, is the next best thing. Together with clean, Telecaster leads that would make Luther Perkins sit up from his grave and light another Camel non-filter, the upright bass slaps that would force Marshall Grant to piss himself while percussively meshing with the boom-chuck/train drum patterns unlike what WS Holland was even capable of--we emulate that Johnny Cash sound, feel, and emotion in every live performance. While staying true to the acoustic rhythm, Fender Tele', clean snare feel of everything; we've collectively managed to put a modern spin on what Johnny WOULD HAVE sounded like had he had the modern-day equipment, recording techniques, and the ability to do a combo-David Lee/Eddie Van Halen scissor kick off the drum riser when "Rusty Cage" ignites...so there. If you love Johnny Cash the way we do, then get in line at our next show and pay your cover and sing along. If you don't--then suck it...

In the beginning...

Shane and I went to the same elementary school, junior high, high school, and college. We were even in the same fraternity at the University of Washington in Seattle from 1987-1991. We would stay up late, playing guitars, writing music, and forming an alt.rock band called "The Quest". Over the years, we have bounced in an out of different projects, including a six-year run in the cover band, "Two Cents Worth" {1999-2005}. Shane went on to join a local cover band and I went and played with a young, alt. country original project. In the band "Shifter", Shane met bassist, Mike Sprayberry. After these projects had all run their course, Shane and I would get together in his recording complex, Sky Island Studios, and break out our acoustics. Shane has always loved when we used to play old Johnny Cash songs, dating back to our college years, 2am, piss drunk, Copenhagen spitter, belting out Ghost Riders, Folsom Prison, Boy Named Sue, et al. He always marvelled at my ability to nail Johnny's baritone, cigarette-smoked voice and knack for knowing ALL of the lyrics to EVERY song of his. A few weeks later, he had a Eureka, light bulb, Dr. Frankenstein moment...called me up..."Corey--lets go all Cash. Cash Only!" We had had the idea originally with "Two Cents Worth" when Johnny passed away back in 2003 and added three or four of his songs to our set list. The crowd always loved them and requested more. But it was not the time. Now is the time. Shane got a hold of Mike Sprayberry and asked him if he liked stand-up, upright basses. We thought we would put a contemporary spin on the Cash movement, stay true to his classics, hit all of the Rick Ruben stuff, but push further into songs that we think Johnny "should have covered!" And that is where it gets kinda fun... I have known Shane since we were in grade school. Sprayberry is probably more talented than all of us. And together, we are "Folsom Prism".