Sunday, September 11, 2016
Richmond, VA’s Black Cash could not have picked a better time to drop into the city’s local music scene. It was 2005 and the recently-deceased Johnny Cash was basking in massive posthumous career success; not only with his American album series but the huge (and eventual Oscar-winning) crossover box office from the Walk The Line biopic. A completely new generation, tired of the godawful pop country so prevalent on present day radio, was beginning to revisit and appreciate the outlaw country legend’s vast musical catalogue; and Black Cash and the Bad Trips were there to, well, cash in on the hype. Less of a bandwagon grab and simply the result of good timing, Black Cash played a respectable setlist of career-spanning Johnny Cash covers, along with a few Nick Cage and Ween songs if stage time allowed. The brainchild of members from local nü-ish metal acts Eyeshine and Atomizer, the group quickly achieved quite a modicum of national success far outside the River City borders, satisfying the growing demand of the public to hear the classic songs live. The group avoided studio recordings as the Cash estate’s copyright prerequisites were simply too involved to justify anyone’s extended effort towards the thing; as a result one of the few demos that does exist is a promotional 6-song setlist recorded by the original lineup at Richmond’s now-defunct Alley Katz. My clear favorite of the set is “Rusty Cage,” starting off straight-Cash then devolving into the Soundgarden-esque grunge version most of us MTV-generationers are familiar with. The metal roots of the band clearly shine though. Black Cash’s lineup began to change after a few years and eventually show dates began to wane, with the group dissolving in late 2009. Enjoy.