Music News & Reviews

Walter Tunis: John Carter Cash carries two family torches

John Carter Cash performs on the ‘Woodsongs Old-Time Radio Hour’ Nov. 30, 2015.
John Carter Cash performs on the ‘Woodsongs Old-Time Radio Hour’ Nov. 30, 2015.

John Carter Cash, Dale Jett and Al, Alice & Ruth

Performing for the WoodSongs Old-Time Radio Hour. 6:45 p.m. Nov. 30. Lyric Theatre and Cultural Arts Center, 300 East Third St. $10. 859-252-8888.

By tending to musical matters very much in the family, John Carter Cash is the torchbearer for two esteemed legacies.

He is the son of Johnny Cash, and as a veteran producer, his recording clients have included Loretta Lynn, Josh Turner, Brooks & Dunn, Elvis Costello, George Jones and Rosanne Cash. As such, his career has overseen numerous late career record releases by his legendary father, including three of the Rick Rubin-produced American series releases (two Grammy winners: 2000’s American III: Solitary Man and 2002’s American IV: The Man Comes Around along with 2006’s posthumous American V: A Hundred Highways) as well as the 2014 collection of unreleased 1980s songs, Out Among the Stars.

But the younger Cash’s mother was June Carter Cash. That means his grandmother is Maybelle Carter, matriarch of the famed country-gospel brethren known as the Carter Family.

That’s the heritage that will be celebrated at Monday’s taping of the WoodSongs Old-Time Radio Hour. Cash will be featured with Southwest Virginia song stylist and third generation Carter Family member Dale Jett. Rounding out the bill will be the trio of Al, Alice & Ruth, which performed extensively with a more regionally based Americana troupe, Berea’s McLain Family Band.

Melvin’s Mountain

Don’t want to wait until Monday for a blast of serious string music? Then head to Meadowgreen Park Music Hall, 303 Bluegrass Lane in Clay City, on Saturday for an evening with Melvin Goins and Windy Mountain.

A Kentucky Music Hall of Fame member, Goins’ 60-year career includes tenures with the final lineup of the Stanley Brothers and initial incarnations of Ralph Stanley and the Clinch Mountain Boys. But he is best known for the 35 years he toured with sibling Ray Goins as The Goins Brothers as well as the bluegrass radio programs he has hosted for decades out of Paintsville and Stanton.

Middle Fork Grass will open Saturday’s performance. For more info, call 606-663-9008 or go to

Two Charlies

There are two shows worth checking out at Cosmic Charlie’s, 388 Woodland Ave., in the coming week:

For those needing a break from the family this weekend, there is a performance on Saturday by the Lexington-based Allman Brothers tribute collective immodestly titled The Allman Butter Band. Members include guitarist-vocalist Danny Williams (from The Barry Mando Project, The Smithdogs and Bluegrass Collective), guitarist Don Rogers (Bluegrass Collective, Green Genes and Kentucky Wild Horse), slide guitarist/vocalist Eric Cummins (The Eric Cummins Band), guitarist Logan Morford (Sundown Service), organist Brad Slutskin (Green Genes, Very Garcia Band), bassist Roddy Puckett (Owsley County, Bluegrass Collective, Captain Wingnut) and drummers Todd Copeland (Green Genes, The Other Brothers, Sundown Service) and John-Paul Nowak (Captain Wingnut, Cornmeal). (10 p.m., $7).

Fast forward to Thursday and we have a visit by Nashville’s The Lonely Biscuits. Formed at Belmont University in 2011, the band — guitarist-vocalist Grady Wenrich, bassist Nick Byrd and drummer Sam Gidley — favors a hybrid of melodic pop that regularly hardens into rugged grooves or blooms into verses of hip hop. Or both.

While a full-length debut album is planned for 2016, the Biscuits have issued a series of EPs. The newest, Come Around, surfaced earlier this month.

Firekid will open the performance (10 p.m., $10). For tickets, call (859) 309-9499 or go to

Beat It

Finally, if your Thanksgiving plans take you to Louisville, consider a Saturday night getaway to the Mercury Ballroom, 611 South Fourth Street. Performing will be the current incarnation of the famed British two-tone band The English Beat, still with guitarist-vocalist Dave Wakeling at the helm (8 p.m., $12.50). For tickets, call 1-800-745-3000 or go to

Read Walter Tunis' blog, The Musical Box, at