Standing on stage in head-to-toe black and his acoustic guitar slung with ease across his body, singer James Garner evokes the younger days of Johnny Cash. But the singer is quick to make the distinction that he is not an impersonator of the iconic “Man in Black.”
As the front man for the Johnny Cash Tribute Show, Garner takes his role in recreating the music and bringing the history of the man and his songs quite seriously.
“When you hear ‘impersonator’ you tend to think of the old Elvis impersonators out there and I didn’t want the show to be, well, cheesy,” Garner said. “This show is a chance for some people to discover Johnny Cash and his music for the first time and for others it’s a time to enjoy his music live again and sing along with the tunes they knew growing up.”
The James Garner Johnny Cash Tribute Show will be pulling into Turlock Monday for a show at the Turlock Community Theatre as part of the Turlock Concert Association series. Doors open at 7 p.m. and the show will start at 7:30 p.m.
Garner’s first introduction to the music of Cash came when he was around 11 years old and living in Hanford.
“My dad was going to his concert and I was curious to find out who he was, so I went to the music store and picked up one of his tapes,” Garner said. “I just fell in love with his music and was a fan from that moment on.”
Garner’s show features some of Cash’s biggest hits, like “Folsom Prison Blues,” “Ring of Fire” and “Walk the Line,” as well as a few rare gems.
“We pull out some lesser known songs of his that maybe over the years have been forgotten,” Garner said. “The show also includes some stories about his life and music.”
Garner also shares Cash’s compassion for those facing some hard times. For Monday’s show he has partnered with the Turlock Gospel Mission for a fundraiser. Tickets purchased through the organization will help fund its efforts to assist the homeless community.
“I got to meet with them through my day job and was really impressed with the work they are doing,” Garner said. “It’s a great cause and I’m happy to partner with them.”
Tickets are $25 and can be purchased by calling the Turlock Gospel Mission at 656-1033.