Johnny Cash For Cancer

For anyone who has fallen into a burning ring of fire, who are boys named Sue, or who have been to Folsom Prison, in real life, or just in song, A Tribute To Johnny Cash, on Friday, February 27, at the Yukon Convention Centre, is for you.

Hosted by CBC’s Dave White, the concert features venerated performers like Hank Carr, Ed Isaak, Clint Carpentier, Kevin Barr, and Art Johns. The up-and-coming rockers, The Midnight Sons Band, and the more traditional Nadine and Sammy will also pay respect to The Man in Black.

The night promises interpretations of Cash songs from every period of his life.

Producer Brandon Isaak is thrilled at the prospects for the night. “I’m a fan of great music,” the award-winning bluesman says, citing the wide appeal of the songs. “Johnny Cash, yeah, you can call that blues, you can call it country, you can call it folk, you can call it rock n’ roll. He’s just one of those guys who crosses the spectrum of music. They’re just cool tunes and everybody loves them.”

Isaak, well known as a lead blues guitarist, will be taking a backseat to the featured performers, which also includes jazz vocalist Nicole Edwards and Blue Creek Bluegrass Band, a five-piece band who perform around a single microphone. Instead, the younger Isaak will join the house band, accompanying some of the performers. “I’ll be strumming the old rhythm guitar, which is a new job for me.” Isaak laughs. “I’ve never actually strummed before in my life. I’ve just never been a strummer.”

Making up the house band with Isaak will be Wayne Smith from the Hank Carr Band, Ed Isaak and Ray Park from the Canucks, and Lawrence Gillespie from Yukon Jack.

After the tribute show, the night will continue with The Canucks. “People can sit around and have a couple of drinks and do some dancing,” says Isaak. “The Canucks will be playing with some special guests, some people from the show.”

Appropriately, audience members who dress all in black will be entered into a draw for two tickets to Vancouver, two nights in a hotel and tickets for a Vancouver Canucks game. “We’ll even fly you back,” Isaak adds. Not only does the tribute concert promise to be a great show, it’s also raising money: $5 from every ticket will go to Karen’s Room, the chemotherapy suite at Whitehorse General Hospital.

Isaak explains the motivation behind donating part of the admission: “We know Hank Carr has been battling cancer lately. And cancer touches everyone. We all know somebody who had it or has battled it or is battling it. So it’s nice to invest it in the community so that you can see the money put into use.”

So walk the line down to the Yukon Convention Centre on Friday, February 27 for some truly universal music and help out a great cause while you are at it. Tickets are $35 and are available at the Yukon Convention Centre and online at 

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