Cash’d Out (Parallel @ Knitting Factory) – 1/24/18

As a rule, tribute bands are not something I deem exciting enough to get me to fork over some cash and show up to see them.  While I have seen a few that are quite talented, I figure: if I can’t have the real thing, what is the point?  The obvious exception is when the legendary artist being imitated has passed on, eliminating that option.

When a friend of mine with a discerning concert mind and solid musical taste told me that he had seen these guys and what an incredible show they put on, I was intrigued.  After all, it doesn’t get much better than The Man In Black – a true musical legend that I never got to see.  Doug Benson and his modern-day Tennessee Three call themselves Cash’d Out, and they do have quite a reputation, built by near-constant touring since their formation in 2004.  So, I invited a some buddies, a few of which obliged, and to the tiny-ass stage that is Parallel at the Knit we went.

The Openers:

The Dave Nudo Band, a four-piece who played the only original music of the evening, got things started.  Ironically, the music was not that original.  Dave and his boys had energy and passion, but this was some overly cliche country-rock from these boys out of Cambridge, Idaho.  Seems half the town came along to support them, taking pictures, throwing bras, and hooting/hollering throughout their six-song set.

Next up we got a taste of Dusty Leigh & the Claim Jumpers, who played covers all across the country music spectrum, with a focus on Miranda Lambert and others that I didn’t recognize but sounded pretty Miranda-esque.  When their guitar player sang a couple songs that was their finest moment.  Give that guy some more time, Dusty.   I have seen a few shows over the years, but this was the first time I have ever seen a singer with a teleprompter/iPad displaying the lyrics.  So, there’s that…

The Headliner:

Cashd Out 1-24-18

From the start, things looked bleak.  Doug was clearly ill, nursing a Hall of Fame cough.  He looked, in a word, tired.  But once the opening notes of “Big River” started, he got going and sounded great.  Not only did the band have the music down pat (which, to be honest, is not the most impossible task), but Doug has clearly done his homework.  He has the vocal range, which is impressive, but also nailed the mid-song banter and mannerisms of Sir Johnny throughout the evening.

The highlight of the evening was the strong selection of popular and dance-inciting songs strung together towards the middle of the set: “Ring of Fire”, “Jackson”, and “Folsom Prison Blues”.  Before he started into “Jackson”, Doug informed us that June was indeed here, but she was stuck in the van and couldn’t figure out how to get out, which was pretty funny.  The crowd – including a few adorable folks well into their seventies – was most lively and hopping around like lunatics during the excellent rendition of “I’ve Been Everywhere”.

Although I didn’t hear my favorite JC song (“The Man In Black”) and none of the American Recordings with Rick Rubin were represented, and they did not come back for their planned encore (I have their set list from the stage floor to prove they intended to play “Hurt” and “Wreck of the ol’ 97”), it was a fine show indeed.  If you missed it, they will be back and you should find yourself there.

Spotify setlist link:



Big River

Get Rhythm

Hey Porter

Rock Island Line

I Still Miss Someone

Five Feet High and Rising

Me and Bobby McGee

A Boy Named Sue

See Ruby Fall

Orange Blossom Special


Ring of Fire


Folsom Prison Blues

One Piece At A Time

Green, Green Grass of Home

I Got Stripes

Cry, Cry, Cry

Sunday Morning Comin’ Down

Cocaine Blues

I Walk the Line

So Doggone Lonesome


Tennessee Flat Top Box

I’ve Been Everywhere

(Ghost) Riders in the Sky

One thought on “Cash’d Out (Parallel @ Knitting Factory) – 1/24/18

  1. It took me a few days, but I realized….that fella looked more like Rodney Dangerfield than Johnny Cash. And this is where I say something like “Hey!! I fell into a burning ring of fire, but it spat me back out and said, ‘you’ve been burned enough!!!’ I tell ya, I don’t get no respect…”
    (for the record, I would totally pay to see a Rodney Dangerfield tribute act)


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