Entertainment

Kehoe walks Cash's line

Gary Kehoe found success with his Johnny Cash tribute after the movie Walk the Line came out, starring Joaquin Phoenix and Reese Witherspoon, who won the Academy Award that year for Best Female Lead. - IMAGE SUBMITTED
Gary Kehoe found success with his Johnny Cash tribute after the movie Walk the Line came out, starring Joaquin Phoenix and Reese Witherspoon, who won the Academy Award that year for Best Female Lead.
— image credit: IMAGE SUBMITTED

In the moving, fact-based 2005 movie, actor Joaquin Phoenix walked the line mighty fine portraying late country music artist Johnny Cash.

Now, Gary Kehoe is towing it.

With more than 600 performances to his credit, The Life and Times of Johnny Cash starring Kehoe has become the longest-running Johnny Cash tribute show in Canada.

And Tri-City residents will get the chance to witness Kehoe’s accomplished man-in-black act firsthand when he performs at the Evergreen Cultural Centre (1205 Pinetree Way) in Coquitlam on Friday.

Having created the tribute show in 2004 with his three-piece band, Mad-Cow-Boys, Kehoe started touring throughout B.C. The show’s popularity grew and, with an increased demand for Johnny Cash music after Walk the Line hit the big screen, quickly shifted Kehoe into high gear performing across Canada.

He has yet to slow since.

“I have always been a songwriter and lyrics are important to me,” Kehoe told The Tri-City News. “Johnny’s songs were really stories put to music and I found that very appealing. The stories were also about every facet of life and so there was always lots of variety.”

Raised on a ranch overlooking the Okanagan Valley and now a Surrey resident, Kehoe began playing country, folk and rock music before eventually graduating to run his own Grande Ole Opry Show, in which he paid tribute to numerous popular country artists.

“At the resurgence of Johnny’s music in 2005, it was a perfect time to devote a tribute show specifically for him,” Kehoe explained. “The past 600-plus shows have predominantly been outside B.C. [and] we are currently trying to rectify that situation.”

Kehoe calls the movie Walk the Line simply “great” and enjoys expanding his repertoire to include some interesting, lesser-known historical facts about Cash and a full audio-visual element.

“[The movie] did include some factual material but it only covered his early life to 1968, which was the beginning of his first comeback,” Kehoe said. “After that... he achieved the status of superstar. Also, the film could not cover many interesting episodes in his life that were even more amazing than the ones in the movie. We try to bring some of these incidents to life at the show.”

• For tickets, call the box office at 604-927-6555.

lpruner@tricitynews.com

 

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