Johnny Cash Concert: May 31, 1997

House of Blues in Myrtle Beach, SC

reviewed by Dr. Mellow

Man! The House of Blues in Myrtle Beach knows how to rock! This was the third Johnny Cash show I've had the pleasure of seeing in my life and by far, it was the best. I got my brother and two of my friends to accompany me -- we had a blast.

Johnny Cash is no spring chicken. Quite frankly, I'm sometimes suprised that he performs as much as he does. The previous two times I've seen him, he hasn't looked all that great. I've never seen him look bad, but he hadn't looked great, either. That all changed when I saw him at the House of Blues. Johnny Cash looked and acted fabulous. He's lost a little weight and the swelling in his face has gone down considerably. Jay Dauro, the production manager for the Johnny Cash show, tells me that his recent surgeries on his jaw and knee have been great successes. I'm told that Johnny Cash can whistle again -- something he's not been able to do for four years!

As I've already mentioned, the show was excellent. Joining him again were June Carter (Johnny's wife), John Carter Cash (Johnny and June's son), and Rosie Cash (Johnny and June's daughter). John Carter stayed onstage the whole show, playing rythm guitar, while June and Rosie came out in the second half for segments of the show. The rest of the band consisted of Bob Wootton on lead guitar, Dave Roe on upright & electric bass, Earl Poole Ball on piano, and W. S. Holland (The Father of the Drums) on drums. Most of the band have been playing with Johnny for a long time: Bob's been with him for just over 25 years, Earl for 21 years, W. S. for over 40 years. Dave is the youngster -- only having been with Johnny for 6 years. Before playing drums for Johnny, W. S. played for Carl Perkins -- that's him on "Blue Suede Shoes", "Matchbox" and the other great Perkins hits. The whole band has a chemistry that works. Watching them perform, you can tell that they have a good time with what they do.

June Carter, as always, was a delight to listen to and watch perform. Every time I see her, she keeps telling the audience that she's going to be working on an album soon. I hope she hurries up and does it -- "I Used To Be Somebody" is an excellent song and deserves to be recorded. John Carter Cash was pretty good this time. The past two times I've seen him, the audience just kinda puts up with his solo portion of the set. This time, the audience seemed to accept him a little more. He certainly gained some respect from me when he covered Billy Joe Shaver's "Georgia On A Fast Train." I don't think I'll dread the John Carter Cash portion of future shows any more. In fact, I will look forward to them.

Johnny was great. He sung a lot of the classics as well as some of the new songs he's recorded. When the show was over, the crowd shouted "Johnny! Johnny!" for a while. Alas, he did not answer the cries for an encore.

Here's the setlist. If you get a chance to see a Johnny Cash show, take it!

Johnny Cash at The House of Blues in Myrtle Beach, SC

May 31, 1997

  • I Walk The Line / Wildwood Flower (Instrumental Medley)
  • Folsom Prison Blues
  • Ghost Riders In The Sky
  • Sunday Morning Coming Down
  • Get Rhythm
  • Cowboy's Prayer/Oh Bury Me Not
  • Over The Next Hill
  • Country Boy
  • Big River
  • Unchained
  • Ring Of Fire
  • The Promised Land (Earl Ball w/ Cody dancing)
  • I Walk The Line
  • Wanted Man
  • Rusty Cage
  • Paradise (w/ John Carter Cash)
  • February
  • I'm Leaving This House
  • Georgia On A Fast Train
  • Orange Blossom Special
  • Jackson (w/ June Carter)
  • If I Was A Carpenter (w/ June Carter)
  • Wabash Cannonball
  • Wildwood Flower
  • Church In The Wildwood
  • Angel from Montgomery
  • I Used To Be Somebody
  • Will The Circle Be Unbroken (w/ Rosie Carter and Audience)
  • Daddy Sang Bass (w/ June Carter and Rosie Carter)
  • Far Side Banks Of Jordon (w/ June Carter)
  • I Got Stripes
  • A Boy Named Sue

Thanks to Jay Dauro for chatting with me before the show and helping me get the setlist correct. Thanks also the the several fans who came up to me before the show to chat about my web pages. It's always gratifying to see that "real people" out there are enjoying the effort I put into these pages. If you see me at a Johnny Cash show, please stop by and chat. I'll be dressed in black and wearing a "Dr. Mellow" baseball cap.

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