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“I moved back to San Diego from Austin, Texas in late November of 2010,” says Mark Stuart, founder of the alt-country Bastard Sons of Johnny Cash.

But Stuart says the BSOJC never disbanded during the years he lived abroad. Being the only original member, he used a rotating crew of musicians local to San Diego such as Alex Watts and Dave Berzansky when performing here. Stuart says he traveled whenever there was a booking. “Seems like there were a lot of fly-ins from Austin during the summer when the Texas heat turns brutal.”

So why move to Austin? “It was easier to find full-time musicians who could do road work. Also,” he says, “I went there to immerse myself in the vibrant Americana and country music scene, to earn my Texas spurs so to speak.”

Neither a tribute artist nor an illegitimate son of the Man in Black, Stuart says he did receive permission to use Johnny Cash’s name before launching the band. Less than stoic, he has been compared favorably to pop and alt-country oriented artists such as Hal Ketchum.

“So far I have just been taking it slow and trying to trying to find where we fit in musically and what venues would be right. It is limited, but there is an audience here, and they are supportive.” Before launching a Scandinavian tour, the Bastard Sons will perform at Bar Leucadian Saturday July 2. Image

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