Tribute band will honor Johnny Cash’s birthday
By Emily Sorensen
A Johnny Cash tribute band with local ties will be among those honoring the Man in Black for his birthday 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 24 at the Poway Center for the Performing Arts.
The Walking Phoenixes, made of Nick Ineck on drums, Greg Karagianis on guitar, Jared Miller on bass and Drew Young on vocals and guitar, will be performing a concert at the “Johnny Cash Birthday Bash.” The group, which has been together in this formation for about four years, dresses up as “men in black,” and perform Cash’s hits, with their own modern spin on the music.
More than just a tribute band that tries to imitate Cash’s sound, they also try to pass along his values. “I am not trying to be Johnny Cash, nor am I trying to,” said Young. “We are trying to pass along his faith-based message and his charity. Johnny Cash was very much a God-loving man. That’s the kind of tribute band we are.”
The band also has Poway ties, as Young is the nephew of Poway High School wrestling coach Wayne Branstetter. With the CIF wrestling championships being held at the beginning of March, Young thought the concert was the perfect opportunity to offer some recognition to his uncle. “My uncle does above and beyond as a wrestling coach, for what he does for that school,” said Young. “He doesn’t just coach, he brings people into his home.”
The concert won’t just be honoring Johnny Cash. When Young and his band learned that the date of their show coincided with the day before Chelsea King’s murder, when she herself had performed on the stage of the Poway Center for the Performing Arts on Feb. 24, 2010, they felt it should be acknowledged in some way. “It’s very important that people know the show was scheduled before we knew the significance of that date,” said Young. A special part of the show will be dedicated to King, as well as fellow victim Amber Dubois. “It’s a very special part of the show,” said Young. “It’s a delicate subject.”
In addition to the dedication, the show will not be selling any merchandise in the lobby. Instead, tables for the Finish Chelsea’s Run 5K Run and Walk and the Chelsea’s Light Foundation will be set up in the lobby.
The show will be a celebration of the life of Johnny Cash, one Young guarantees to be fun. “It’s a very energetic show,” said Young. “We interact with the crowd, get people to dance and have a good time.”
Tickets are $20 adults, $15 seniors, $10 children 12 and under, and can be bought at the box office, by calling 858-748-0505, or on www.powaycenter.com. The Poway Center for the Performing Arts is located at 15498 Espola Road.
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