Over the past couple of decades, tribute bands have become big business in the world of concert promotion. And, not surprisingly, the more popular ones are the acts that are most authentic. Such is the case with Cash’d Out (Douglas Benson vocals, Kevin Manuel guitar, George Bernardo drums, and Stephen Rey bass), a San Diego based band, that channels Johnny Cash in about as close a manner to the real thing as it gets.
How can you tell? Well, beyond critics having anointed Cash’d Out the “next best thing to Johnny Cash,” and the group having won six San Diego Music Awards for Best Tribute Band, and being the only tribute band endorsed by the official Johnny Cash web page, JohnnyCash.com, the real proof lies in what members of Cash’s inner circle have said. “Cindy Cash came to a show, we made her cry and she gave me a necklace with Johnny’s hair in a glass locket,” explains front man Douglas Benson. Benson added that Cash producer Lou Robin has also been to several Cash’d Out shows, and claimed that if he closed it eyes it was like “going back in time.”