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Johnny Cash impersonator walks the festival line

STAGE EXPERIENCE: I Hear That Train A-Comin’ – The Johnny Cash Story features Slim Pickens, Neil McCann, Ilona Harker and Barry Ferrier, who takes on the role of Johnny Cash.
STAGE EXPERIENCE: I Hear That Train A-Comin’ – The Johnny Cash Story features Slim Pickens, Neil McCann, Ilona Harker and Barry Ferrier, who takes on the role of Johnny Cash. Contributed

A GROUP of local musicians will show off their musical and theatrical flair during the Gympie Muster this month.

Award-winning Bangalow musician Barry Ferrier will play Johnny Cash in I Hear That Train A-Comin' - The Johnny Cash Story.

Cash is widely considered as one of the most influential musicians of the 20th century.

Ferrier will be accompanied by the talented Ilona Harker, playing Cash's first wife Vivienne, June Carter Cash and "mama" Carrie, while Slim Pickens and Neil McCann will offer rockabilly backing as the Tennessee Two.

Ferrier fell into the role of Cash in late 2012 and has enjoyed embodying the country icon since.

"It all came about because my friend is the manager of Brunswick Heads Bowling Club," he said.

"There was a tribute show going on there but it fell through and she begged me to fill in. It just sort of took off after that.

"Next thing I know we had the people at Twin Towns (Services Club) ringing me to play in their auditorium."

Ferrier combined his musical talent and theatrical skills to craft an experience different to your average tribute show.

"I'd always avoided tribute shows like the plague," he said.

"But I think this is much more than your average tribute act - it's got quite a lot of dialogue but we've mixed that in with Cash's songs and it's more like a stage show musical.

"We're selling out shows everywhere. I feel very proud myself and the cast have put this together and seen it go so well."

Ferrier said the 2005 Cash biopic Walk The Line, starring Joaquin Phoenix, thrust Cash's achievements back into the limelight and was a boon for the tribute show.

The muster will also feature performances by Lee Kernaghan, Kasey Chambers, Adam Harvey and a long list of other artists.

At a glance

Ballina RSL Club will host the tribute show on Saturday, August 23. Tickets are on sale at http://www.ballinarsl.com.au/ entertainment




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