By Lethbridge Herald on September 27, 2018.
David James and his band playing the Yates Centre
David James was a rock and roll musician until one fateful night when his girlfriend rented the Johny Cash biopic “Walk The Line.”
Then 40 years old, James started singing along and his girlfriend told him he’d found his calling.
Years later, the native of Tofield, Alberta who now hunkers down in Nanaimo B.C., has shed his rock ’n roll attitude for a tribute to the legendary man in black.
David James and Big River will perform not only a tribute to Johnny Cash, but also to Waylon Jennings Oct. 11 at the Yates Centre. Tickets are $48.50 at the Ticket Centre, 403-329-7328.
Fans of Johnny Cash who can’t make the Thursday night show here can still see a performance on Oct. 12 at the Heritage Inn in Taber or on Oct. 13 at the Esplanade in Medicine Hat.
After doing the bar circuit on Vancouver Island, James managed to find an agent who was initially reluctant to take him on. But since then, his act has flourished with tour dates in both Canada and the U.S.
James’ set takes audiences on a journey through Cash’s long career.
“We do everything from start to finish,” said James in his Cash imitation voice recently in a telephone interview. The set includes songs from Cash’s final works including the tunes “Hurt” and “Rusty Cage.”
Of course, he plays the audience favourite “A Boy Named Sue,” which Rivers jokes he’s sung about 64,000 times.
“It’s their favourite song!,” he exclaimed.
His favourites include the country classic “Orange Blossom Special,” on which he also plays harmonica.
“It’s a showstopper,” said James, who is also a fan of Cash’s more obscure works.
In his show, he tries to reproduce the Cash look and sound as authentically as he can.
“I try to sound like him, speak like him.”
He kicks off the show by paying homage to Jennings, who was a close friend of Cash’s.
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