Little Big Town, Midland, Devin Dawson, More Show Out For First Annual Cash Fest

Photo: Brett Carlsen/Getty Images for YouTube

In celebration of the release of the YouTube Originals documentary, The Gift: The Journey of Johnny Cash, YouTube enlisted more than 30 country, rock and Americana artists to perform their favorite Johnny Cash song at the War Memorial Auditorium last night (Nov. 10). Cash Fest was put on by The Best Fest, and proceeds from the event benefited MusiCares.

Country artists Little Big Town, Midland, Devin Dawson, Morgan Wallen and HARDY performed their choices, Americana favorites Ketch Secor (of Old Crow Medicine Show), Grace PotterThe Lone Below, and Drew and Ellie Holcomb put their spin on Cash tunes, and rockers Judah & The LionBear Rinehart (as Wilder Woods), Matt Shultz (of Cage The Elephant) and Elle King provided their own rocking covers.

Pictured (L-R): Jimi Westbrook, Kimberly Schlapman, Karen Fairchild, and Phillip Sweet of Little Big Town perform. Photo: Brett Carlsen/Getty Images for YouTube

The house band also served as the emcee, and moved the audience through the plethora of covers. Bits of footage from the documentary played occasionally during set changes. The film’s director, Emmy-award winning Thom Zimny, along with John Carter Cash got the evening started.

“Making this film, I learned a lot about different things and if Johnny taught me one thing, it was gratitude,” Zimny said as he thanked YouTube, the Cash-Carter family, and to Johnny Cash. “I also want to say thank you to Johnny Cash for his music, his faith, his family, and his love. It has really touched my life. Tonight is a dream come true for me.”

“The thing is, there’s nobody else in the world like him,” Cash said of his father. “I’m so grateful because he has a humility and a strength that endured because he established this lasting legacy himself based on his kindness and who he was as a human being, based on the way that he loved in life.”

Old Crow Medicine Show’s Ketch Secor kicked the music off, accompanied by the legendary Charlie McCoy on harmonica. The Cash-Carter family sat in couches in front of the stage.

Devin Dawson followed with “Man in Black,” and Kassi Ashton gave a stellar rendition of “Give My Love To Rose.” Caitlyn Smith followed that up with a hot and heavy version of Cash’s version of “Rusty Cage.”

Kassi Ashton. Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images for YouTube

Little Big Town shined on Cash’s gospel recording of “Why Me, Lord?” receiving a standing ovation from the Cash-Carter family. Other crowd favorites included Wilder Woods’ rocking version of “God’s Gonna Cut You Down,” The Lone Below’s “Cry, Cry, Cry,” and Cody Carnes and Kari Jobe‘s “Ain’t No Grave.”

The biggest applause of the night followed Midland’s lively “Ghost Rider’s In The Sky” cover. Dennis Quaid‘s version of “Walk The Line” excited the crowd, as well.

Morgan Wallen and HARDY did an acoustic version of “You Are My Sunshine,” Brandon Lancaster of Lanco performed “When The Man Comes Around,” Cam did “What Is Truth?” and Trevor Terndrup of Moon Taxi chose “I Won’t Back Down.”

Lucie Silvas did a wonderful job with “Sunday Morning, Coming Down,” and Grace Potter mastered “Long Black Veil.”

Grace Potter. Photo: Brett Carlsen/Getty Images for YouTube

John Carter Cash and Anna Christina Cash performed “Get Rhythm,” Judah & The Lion took on “Folsom Prison Blues,” and the Carter family descendants took on their well-known family classic, “Keep On The Sunny Side.” The night came to a close with a gathering of the performers on stage for “Will The Circle Be Unbroken?,” and was received with a standing ovation from the audience.

The Gift: The Journey of Johnny Cash is now available for viewing on YouTube.

 

Pictured (L-R): Morgan Wallen, Lyor Cohen Global Head of Music of YouTube, HARDY. Photo: Terry Wyatt/Getty Images for YouTube

Judah & The Lion. Photo: Brett Carlsen/Getty Images for YouTube

Little Big Town. Photo: Terry Wyatt/Getty Images for YouTube

John Carter Cash and Carlene Carter. Photo: Terry Wyatt/Getty Images for YouTube

Mark Wystrach, Jimi Westbrook. Photo: Brett Carlsen/Getty Images for YouTube

The Carter Family. Photo: Brett Carlsen/Getty Images for YouTube

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LB Rogers is Project Manager at MusicRow magazine. She heads up specific, large-scale projects for the company and assists in day-to-day tasks. LB also manages the MusicRow Top Songwriter Chart and contributes editorial for both the print and online platforms. She joined MusicRow full time in January of 2019, after interning and working part time for the company for a year. She is from Blairsville, Georgia and graduated from Middle Tennessee State University with a Music Business degree in 2018.

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