I'm so delighted with this painting by Michael Arthur, of me with Brandon Ross, done live onscreen at Symphony Space last Saturday during the Wall To Wall Johnny Cash bash on Saturday. It was really a great way to segue from one act to another; I wish I'd thought of it a thousand years ago. As the artist came onstage, the band name was being painted onto a larger painting of Johnny Cash, and then when the artist was done, the painting he'd made during the performance went up. Really a great idea.
It was an unbelievable honor to be asked to sing Long Black Veil and we did a version of which I am enormously proud and sure to soon record. My version is all about the Em9 chord. You'll hear.
We also did Still In Town, by Harlan Howard and Hank Cochran. Johnny didn't do the best version of the song; I fell in love with it on The Basement Tapes. My version is all about the F sus chord. You'll also hear.
While re-tuning for There You Go, I got to tell the story of the time I met Johnny Cash.
It was just after he'd been misdiagnosed toward the end of his life; it was thought he had maybe a month to live. A TV tribute was hastily arranged and I was invited to attend the performance and given an all-access pass by dear friend Danny Kahn, who manages Rosanne. Anyway, long after the show was over, everyone was heading over to the China Club, of all places, for the post-show party. I was waiting for Danny, and somehow myself alone in the room with the great man. We were both putting on our black coats. I had worn my best one, a double-breasted wool cutaway parade coat with a hook built in for your sword. He had a floor-length cape with a royal blue satin lining. We just looked at each other's coats so admiringly, smiled, said not a word.
I remember Danny, who came into the room as this was happening, saying to me later, "That was the only peaceful moment Johnny had all day."
God rest his titanic soul.