Take This to the Bank

Three million copies of the Walk the Line DVD were sold on February 28, the first day of its release. Record companies have released at least seven box-set compilations of Johnny Cash music. Business has been good for the local bands that incorporated Cash's name into their band name.

On the February 24 episode of local-music show Fox Rox, host Troy Johnson introduced Cash'd Out by saying it was the only Johnny Cash tribute band that had the blessing of the Cash estate. Cash'd Out is a tribute band that plays only Johnny Cash songs. Lead singer Doug Benson sounds like Cash.

Then there is the Bastard Sons of Johnny Cash, a local country-rock band that has released three CDs of original songs.

"We aren't a tribute band," says founder/front-man Marc Stuart. "We never set out to be a tribute band." Yet, the recent European release of Walk the Line helped the Bastard Sons book a 30-date European tour. "We leave for five weeks next week," says Stuart. "We're going to Switzerland, Austria, Germany, France, Holland, Belgium, Ireland, Scotland, and England."

Are the Bastard Sons endorsed by the Cash estate?

"We weren't endorsed by the Cash estate," says Stuart. "We were endorsed by Cash himself.... I met him at the House of Blues in Los Angeles in 1998. We were invited to his house in Hendersonville, Tennessee, where we recorded songs for our first record. He told us he would be honored if we were his bastard sons."

Regarding the Cash-estate endorsement comment on Fox Rox, Cash'd Out band manager Jason Butcher says, "That is not true. We have to get [Fox Rox] to correct that."

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