The Johnny Cash Story from Night Owl Shows featuring Jamie Rodden is only on for three nights (Aug 26 – 28) at theSpaceUK, so if you are a fan of either Johnny Cash or Jamie Rodden, make sure you buy your ticket soon.
Johnny Cash aka “The Man in Black” was a complex man during his lifetime who was famous for his music and iconic choice of colour for both his clothing and his guitar. That “black” was also at times inside Johnny Cash, interwoven into his soul, and it took him at times to places that most of us hope that we will never have to visit in our lifetime, and it is perhaps because of that emotional range of colours between lightness and darkness that so many people found something in common with the man and his music.
This show is not Jamie Rodden pretending to be Johnny Cash, but someone who obviously feels a resonance with his life, and perhaps at times is a sharer of that darkness. That is perhaps what gives some of the music in this show so much power, as it forces many of us to confront our own inner demons that we would rather turn around and walk away from.
This was not the easiest audience for Jamie tonight, and to say that they were at times “reserved” would probably sum up the opening numbers of the show, and slowly I found myself (as did many of the audience) warming to just how special being on stage and sharing the emotions of these songs was to Jamie Rodden.
Any Johnny Cash show is going to have to have some obvious audience pleasers in the set list, and they are here, so is one of my favourite Johnny Cash songs – “Sunday Morning Coming Down”, which was written by Kris Kristofferson (who I saw doing this live a few years ago now), and Jamie captures this one well.
Two songs stole this show for me though, “Hurt”, originally written by Trent Reznor of The Nine Inch Nails and the redemptive “When The Man Comes Around”. Both these songs obviously have a raw emotional connection to Jamie and if I could offer one piece of advice it would be to never apologise for the way a song can affect you either by the power of its music or its words (or both). This is the magic, this is the power of music and words, and both can take you from euphoric happiness to deepest of despair (often in the same song). In the end, what is the point of writing, or performing any music if you have no emotional response to it? Keep feeling the music and the words Jamie Rodden and your audience will keep feeling their own experiences to that music too.
Review by Tom King (c) 2021
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