Hard to believe as it is, Johnny Cash bid us farewell eleven years ago on the crest of a late fame surge courtesy of ‘The American Recordings’. He sang homage to America in ”Ragged Old Flag’ and backed the downtrodden American Indians via ‘Ira Hayes’. So how can a man from Leverkusen ever dare to think he can step onto the Harmonie stage and play music so quintessentially from another continent with conviction? Texas Heat is the name of his band and they’re hot.
Johnny Cash lives in Leverkusen. Maybe I should qualify that statement ‘Johnny Cash lives in Leverkusen’. Bernd ‘Marty’ Wolf is the Leverkusener keeping the Man in Black’s memory very much alive by presenting his music in the Tribute Show ‘Just Cash’. The turnout at Harmonie showed that Cash’s music is as popular as ever here in Bonn , Where a lot of people were ready to walk the line back to Folsom Prison and share Johnny’s hurt once again. Wolf, who got to know Johnny as a translator during his German tours, proved to be the perfect guide for their journey, joined by the excellent Band Texas Heat.
How do you capture the magic of ‘A walking contradiction?’ That’s how Kris Kristofferson famously described Johnny Cash. The answer has to be – Let the music do the talking, and that’s just what ‘Texas Heat’ did in their Tribute Show to mark what would have been the great Man’s 80th year, titled Just Cash. A crowded Harmonie audience aged from 17 to 70 proved without doubt that ‘The Man’ is both as magical and as mystifying to music lovers as ever.