Douglas Benson never sang professionally until founding Cash’d Out five years ago. “I started singin’ pretty much just to keep myself awake while I was on the road,” he says. Benson’s work involved the setting up of fiber-optic networks across Europe and the U.S. “I probably put in eight to ten hours a day on the road by myself.” During off-hours in road towns, where it was likely that no one would know him, Benson says he sang Cash songs in karaoke bars. The response he received encouraged him to go pro. Benson bought a guitar and practiced, and when he was ready, he went looking for a band.
“Doug put an ad in the Reader,” says Cash’d Out cofounder and standup bassist Sean Glithero. “It said he was looking for someone who played guitar like Luther Perkins, who was the guitarist for Johnny Cash for years.” Kevin Manuel answered the ad, and a Johnny Cash tribute band was born.
“For the most part, I don’t try to be Johnny Cash on stage,” says Benson. “I don’t come out and say, ‘Hello, I’m Johnny Cash,’ because I’m not.” Does he try to sound like Cash? “I try to a little bit, but, you know, it’s really the only way that I know how to sing.” Whether he’s trying to or not, Benson has the sound and even the essence of the Man in Black down cold.
What’s in the cards for Cash’d Out? “Maybe picking some modern songs that Johnny Cash never got a chance to do...he wrote his own songs, but he stole a lot, too.”
River City and the Hell on Heels Burlesque troupe also perform.
CASH’D OUT: Belly Up Tavern, Thursday, December 23, 8:30 p.m. 858-481-8140. $15; $17 day of show.