Just days after being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of The Small Faces and Faces, keyboardist Ian McLagan returned to his home of Austin, Texas, to take part in a tribute to a country music legend. And now that tribute is about to get a CD/DVD release and a tour. Recorded on April 20 at the Moody Theater in Austin, We Walk The Line: A Celebration Of The Music Of Johnny Cash will be available August 7.
McLagan told CBS Local that the tribute tour will take place this fall. Although he said he was surprised when he was asked to participate: “I’m a Johnny Cash fan, but there’s not a lot of piano on those songs.” However, he added, “we didn’t play the songs in the original style.”
Some of the highlights of the album include Lucinda Williams’ take on “Hurt” (the Nine Inch Nails song that Cash covered towards the end of his life ), Shooter Jennings (son of Waylon) singing “Cocaine Blues,” and Willie Nelson and Sheryl Crow sharing the mic on “If I Were A Carpenter.” The concert also featured performances by country legend Kris Kristofferson, Pat Monahan of pop rockers Train, Amy Lee of hard rock group Evanesence, and outlaw country singer Jamey Johnson.
So, who will be singing on the tour? “I have no idea!” McLagan says. “It will be a rotating cast, which will be lots of work for us, but a lot of fun for the audience.”
The house band is made up of musicians who are used to working with lots of big names and in different styles: besides McLagan on keyboards, Kenny Aronoff — currently of Chickenfoot, a former member of John Mellencamp and John Fogerty’s bands – plays drums. On bass is Don Was, formerly of funk band Was (Not Was), but who has been the Rolling Stones’ producer of choice for twenty years, and who has also worked on albums by Ringo Starr, Bonnie Raitt and Bob Dylan. Guitarist Buddy Miller and multi-instrumentalist Greg Leisz have both worked with John Fogerty and Robert Plant.
Expect an announcement about the tour in the coming weeks.
— Brian Ives, CBS Local