The first-ever, all-star Cash Fest, celebrating the music of Johnny Cash, will take place at the War Memorial Auditorium in Nashville on 10 November. It will feature Little Big Town, Elle King, Judah & the Lion, Cam, Perry & Etty Farrell, Matt Shultz of Cage the Elephant and Grace Potter, among others.
The show is in celebration of the forthcoming YouTube Originals documentary The Gift: The Journey of Johnny Cash. It’s being staged by the Johnny Cash Trust and the Best Fest, with proceeds going to MusiCares. The documentary, which has the full cooperation of the Cash estate, is due to debut the day after the concert, at which the audience will see a preview. YouTube will make it available for free to audiences worldwide. You can watch the trailer for the film here:
Directed by the Emmy and Grammy-winning Thom Zimny, the 94-minute The Gift examines the life and work of the country music legend, offering recently discovered archive footage and new interviews with members of Cash’s family, including daughter and singer-songwriter Rosanne Cash. Bruce Springsteen Emmylou Harris, Dwight Yoakam, Jackson Browne and actor Robert Duvall are among the other participants. Zimny is a frequent collaborator of Springsteen, including on his new film inspired by the Western Stars album.
The Cash documentary takes the artist’s famous 1968 concert at Folsom Prison as a focal point, and his son John Carter Cash among its co-producers. Original music for the film has been composed and performed by Mike McCready of Pearl Jam. The Los Angeles Times‘ review says: “The visually poetic film offers an appraisal of Cash’s life and craft that is both painfully candid and often revelatory…Cash’s 71-year reckoning with the wages of sin and salvation is put in eloquently humbling, myth-busting perspective.”
Variety‘s Joy Leydon describes the film as a “tightly focused yet impressively multifaceted documentary that attempts nothing less than to delve past familiar myths and illuminate the soul of its fabled subject.”