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Portrait of Walk The Line Band

Walk The Line Band

Portrait of Walk The Line Band
Walk The Line pays tribute to the 'man in black
Posted on 26 Jan 200

WALK THE LINE: Pictured above are members of the Johnny Cash tribute band.


Although the real Johnny Cash personified the word arrogance, his New England-based tribute band, Walk The Line Band, has taken a different approach

"I think the main word for us when we perform would be modesty. We're not trying to be big shots," said Walk the Line Band lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist Bill Kirby. "We try to just honor Johnny's music. There's always room for improvement. I think we're average, but everyone else tells us we're great and what the people think is what counts the most.

Lead guitarist Mark Thompson agreed with that sentiment

"Without Johnny, we wouldn't be here today doing what we love to do, and that truly humbles us," he expressed. "We have so much fun playing his songs and its fun to bring his style of music to so many people, young or old.

When the group first started out over four years ago, their set list only included about 10-15 songs, now, in 2008, they have enough material covered to perform for two-and-a-half to three hours straight

"Usually every time we play live, we arrange our show so that we play his songs in the chronological order in which they came out," added Kirby. "So we'll start with some of his music from the Sun Record Label days and work our way down.

Realizing that almost every major band has its tribute counterpart, both Kirby and Thompson felt that a Johnny Cash tribute band was long overdue

"Right after Johnny had just died, I thought to myself that someone should do this and put together a band highlighting his music," said Kirby, a resident of New Bedford, Mass. "When I first had this idea, I wanted to make sure that we always kept the music raw, just like he did. You've got to keep it real when you're doing Cash, there's no other way.

"The movie that came out back in 2005 (Walk The Line) certainly got people into him again, and that in itself sort of created the need for us to do this," said Thompson, who calls the "Gateway City" of Wareham, Mass., his home

Besides Kirby and Thompson, the group is rounded out by bassist Bob Girouard, of Acushnet, Mass., and percussionist Kevin Medeiros, of Mashpee, Mass

"The chemistry of this band is excellent," stated Thompson. "We have such great dedication. Every Wednesday, without fail, we're practicing to make ourselves better. It's almost like we're married together, except our marriage is always at the beginning.

For the group's front man, nothing is better than looking out in a crowd and seeing hundreds of people dancing and singing along with his words

"It feels great, especially when you know you've got them hooked in," said Kirby. "We dress the part and everything. I feel that gives people a little extra excitement when they see us.

For more information about the Walk The Line Band, visit their website at or contact Kirby at 508-971-7609 for all your booking inquiries

"If a club or bar owner wants people to come to his or her establishment and buy beer, then having us perform for them is the right choice," said a laughing Kirby

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Portrait of Walk The Line Band
Walk The Line Band