A Tribute to Johnny Cash

Rick McKay

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An eerily authentic tribute to Johnny Cash by a genuine life-long fan of the "Man In Black".

When I was 6 years old my family moved from Stamshaw, in my home town of Portsmouth, to an area called Somers Town. With that knowledge as a benchmark, I can say with confidence and pride that I have been a Johnny Cash fan for more than 40 of my (almost) 48 years. I was actually around 4 years old the first time I heard the words “Hello, I’m Johnny Cash”, the distinctive guitar sound of Luther Perkins on the intro to “Folsom Prison Blues” and an audience of convicted felons (though I didn’t know what a “felon” was at the time) going wild for the “Man in Black”. I remember thinking Johnny Cash looked like John Wayne, and for a number of reasons, I have always seen the two as similar characters. Standing up for the “underdog” and taking on the bad guys without a hint of fear, even when massively outnumbered. I remember a song called “Big Bad John” by Jimmy Dean that featured the lyric “A crashing blow from a huge right hand sent a Louisiana fella to the promised land”. I remember that someone told me (incorrectly) that the song was based a true story about Johnny Cash, and that as a result of that incident he had spent time in jail, all of which helped to build the “mythology” surrounding him in my mind. I remember many years later how the hair literally stood up on the back of my neck when I heard that same “Folsom” guitar intro, this time played my Marty Stuart, and heard the words, “Hello, I’m Johnny Cash” once again, only this time I was THERE, in the second row with my Mother and my Uncle, who between them had introduced me to this man and his music, and for whom I now tried to return the favour in a small way by buying them tickets for the show. As Johnny Cash seemed to burst through the side doors of the open stage in Portsmouth’s 2000 seat Guildhall and cross that large space in what seemed like three strides, I remember feeling like he filled up the room all by himself. I’ve been lucky enough to see most of my “idols”, “heroes” (whatever you choose to call them), live in concert, but I’ve never felt that much “charisma” from any other performer. What I do not need to remember is, how I felt on both those “big first” occasions, because I still feel the exact same sense of awe and strength and humour and honesty every time I put on a Johnny Cash album today. This album and my live performances in this “role” are tributes to Johnny Cash. It is a privilege to be able to do this and an honour I do not take lightly.

Rick McKay June 10th 2013

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She Devil

Rick Mckay

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This brand new extended play CD single includes three great new rockin' tracks written by this artist and a blistering cover of Ronnie Dawson's classic "Up Jumped The Devil".

Hot off the press comes this great "mini-album" of new recordings by Rick McKay.

Anyone who is familiar with this artists previous work will welcome this return to his roots in rock 'n' roll/rockabilly music. Rick has lost none of his enthusiasm for the rocking sounds of the 50's although that's not to say that this E.P. sounds like an "old record". This is rockabilly music dragged kicking and screaming into the present day with three brand new songs, written by Rick himself, and a great cover track that easily hold their own against anything you'll hear both past and present.

In recent years Rick McKay has recorded mainly country material with duo partner and wife Jodie McKay as "Pure Country". A Garth Brooks tribute album was released in 2001 with two other solo CDs released soon afterwards. These albums were recorded for sale at live shows and not intended for general release.

In 2010 he recorded his first rock 'n' roll/rockabilly album since 1989's "Beggars Can Be Choosy" with his former trio "Hot Doggin". The album "Back On The Road" featured six songs written by Rick alongside some carefully chosen covers from the 1950's.

Both "Beggars Can Be Choosy" and "Back On The Road" are available to buy here on CD Baby, iTunes, Amazon and other good retailers.

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Back On the Road

Hot Doggin' (feat. Rick McKay)

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Late 50's Rock 'n' Roll, Rockabilly and Country slam head on into each other on this 12 song feast of Rockin' fun. This trio let the music take them where it will, ignoring the usual rules of what should be, mixing off-the-wall covers with original tunes.

Hot Doggin' are a rockabilly trio originally formed in 2007 under the borrowed name The Silhouettes. Mainly due to other commitments, the trio suffered a couple of false starts. Then, in 2009, founder members John Standen and Rick McKay found themselves both playing in Paul Ansell’s Number Nine and decided that now was a great time to finally put the trio on the road. With drummer Ben Cooper (formerly of Restless) now on board the trio have just released their debut album and are out on the road.

JOHN STANDEN - Double Bass and Vocals On leaving school John’s first band was called Chevy 57 and later on he was a member of The River Boys, a band he would play with, on and off, for the next 25 years. John names Jools Holland as one of his biggest influences and eventually formed Blues Shakeout playing a mixture of rhythm &blues and rock ‘n’ roll. He side stepped on to the country music scene for a short time playing with the Gary Cooper Band in 1997. He later played with both Paul Ansell’s Number Nine, and Mark Keely’s Good Rockin’ Tonight as well as becoming the “go to guy” for many bands occasionally in need of a rockin’ double bass player such as The Firebirds, Big Boy Bloater and The Kingcats just to name a few. In 2009 John joined the theatre production Rockin’ On Heaven’s Door where he stayed for a while, and still plays occasional shows, as well as rejoining Paul Ansell’s Number Nine.

RICK McKAY - Guitars and Vocals Rick had an early start in music as lead guitarist with In Step while he was still at school. He then formed his own trio, The Silhouettes (not realising at the time that the name was already taken) and later joined Rock Therapy and co-formed Dynamite in 1987. Rick has toured extensively over the last 25 years playing solo acoustic shows and with his own band, as well as having taken the lead role in three theatre productions, Forever Elvis, Elvis and the Rock ‘n’ Roll Years and The Thunder Rolls. His love of Rockabilly, Rock ‘n’ Roll and Country music have taken him all of the world and even lead to him spending a number of years writing and recording for GMC Records in Nashville during the 90’s. Rick can still be seen occasionally as one half of popular country duo Pure Country as well as turning up playing with other bands, most recently he could be seen as double bassist for The Doggone Country Band, and as lead Guitarist for Paul Ansell’s Number Nine.

BEN COOPER - Drums and Vocals In 2008 Ben Cooper released his first solo album, Rockin, on Cherry Red Records receiving great reviews and airplay around the World. The live band, The Ben Cooper Trio blazed a trail through Europe including Ukraine forging a formidable reputation. Ben is a singer songwriter/multi-instrumentalist that has been writing and releasing material since the 80's. The songs he has written have appeared on records that have had huge cult success. Some of these records are now considered classics. Ben’s is considered a pioneer of the genre of British Neo’ Rockabilly. The driving force and founder member of Restless, Ben was partly instrumental in expanding the roots genre to a more contemporary sound. The band were, and are hugely influential - especially with bands that are now coming through the current mainstream Rockabilly revival.

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A Tribute To Garth Brooks

Rick McKay

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The original soundtrack album of the touring theatre production THE THUNDER ROLLS.

THE THUNDER ROLLS was a recreation of the live show of country music Superstar Garth Brooks, which toured between 2000 and 2002 and featured Rick McKay in the lead role. Included here are 18 of Brooks' best known tunes authentcally performed by Rick McKay and The Thunder Rolls Band, featuring Jodie McKay as a special guest vocalist on the song IN ANOTHER's EYES. Digitally remastered and re-packaged for this release and sounding better than ever.

This CD is currently not available for direct download. Follow the link to out

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Hicksville

Rick Mckay

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Originally released in 1992 this was the only album Rick McKay recorded with his country band, HICKSVILLE. The album illustrates the diverse influences of the band and also contains a couple of Rick McKay's original songs.

Originally released in 1992 this was the only album Rick McKay recorded with his country band, HICKSVILLE. The album illustrates the diverse influences of the band and also contains a couple of Rick McKay's original songs.

Engineered by: Steve Hoff Recorded at: Crystal Studios, Portsmouth Produced by: Hicksville

Musicians: Rick McKay: Lead Guitar, Acoustic Guitar & Vocals Nick Evans: Lead Guitar, Pedal Steel Guitar & Mandolin Phil March: Bass Guitar & Vocals Ray Lucking: Drums, Percussion & Vocals

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Beggars Can Be Choosy

Rick Mckay

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A collection of mostly original songs, perfect for anyone who is a fan of 50's rock 'n' roll and the 60's big ballad sound.

Rick McKay's career has spanned the last 3 decades and although he remains a comparative unknown, he has achieved an astounding number of his personal goals and remains to this day a very active musician and performer. His influences range from Elvis, Roy Orbison, Eddie Cochran and Gene Vincent, to Rodney Crowell, Garth Brooks and Dwight Yoakam. He has made a name for himself in both rock 'n' roll and country music circles and even landed a record deal in Nashville where he lived during the early 1990's. "Beggars Can Be Choosy" was originally recorded between October 1988 and September 1989. It features some of the earliest songwriting work by Rick McKay and includes songs that have remained popular requests in his live shows today. The title track was adapted from a poem written about him by his mother. Also included in this collection is Rick's version of "The Boy Who Dared To Rock", which was the opening number in "Forever Elvis", a theatre production which toured throughout the 1980's and in which Rick played a young Elvis Presley at the beginning of his career.

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