Friday evening in Darling, hot and summery and we’re off downtown to Evita se Perron to enjoy Traveller paying their personal tribute to Johnny Cash.

Traveller performed as Johnny Cash and his wife June Carter. Appropriate since Jean Ras and Tamara Mihal are in fact husband and wife. It was a family affair in Darling. Tamara’s Mum and Dad live in Darling and they brought along their children. Their young twins were not over awed by Mum and Dad on stage even if they got sleepy as the evening progressed.

In honour of Cash, Jean was dressed in black (the Man in Black being a Cash signature).

The music? What can you say about Johnny Cash, a man who sold over 90 million records worldwide during his long career in music. His music spanned rock and roll, rockabilly, blues, folk, and gospel. He was a man pursued by the demons of substance abuse. Much of Cash’s music contained themes of sorrow, moral tribulation, and redemption, especially in the latter stages of his career (Wikipedia).

His signature songs include “I Walk the Line”, “Folsom Prison Blues” and “Ring of Fire”. He related to the difficulties faced by long term prisoners and gave concerts at San Quentin and at Folsom Prison. His interaction with the prisoners was immediate and personal; the available videos on Youtube show a man at ease with his audience. On one occasion he even got the guards on side with a humble request for a glass of water, nice moment.


Traveller brought all this and more to the Evita se Perron stage. They kicked off with ‘A boy named Sue’ which got the audience going immediately. They then moved effortlessly through the whole gamut of Cash’s music from ‘Sue’ through ‘Personal Jesus’ including the very poignant ‘The Beast in Me’ (“The beast in me has had to learn to live with pain… to shelter from the rain”) written by Nick Lowe, husband of Cash’s step daughter.

High spots of the evening were many. ‘A man called Sue’, ‘Ring of Fire’ and ‘Bobby McGee’ were at the top of my list.

Early in the show Jean (Johnny) told us of the first song he sang with his lady Tamara (June Carter) in the very early days of their relationship; you guessed it, ‘If I were a carpenter and you were a lady’. Well one thing lead to another and they have beautiful twin daughters to prove their point.

Jean is a talented guitarist, singer and harmonica player and Tamara is the perfect foil. I can imagine them on stage together at Woodstock; they weren’t at Woodstock together but the image works.

There was a lovely moment when Jean mentioned that it was Tamara’s birthday. Tamara was wished well by a packed house at Evita se Perron with her Mum, Dad and children.

Did you miss the show? Don’t worry they are coming back Saturday 7th April. I’ll see you there.

Sadly I failed to get any pics or video. If you got some pics or video I would be very grateful if you would consider sending them to me to include in the review. Meanwhile here is Traveller at another gig.

Peter Hall
lives in Darling, Cape West Coast. Born in Belfast (N.Ireland not Free State). Supports The Stormers and Sheffield Wednesday (who?). Part-time wine sampler, part-time blogger, enjoys short stories, reluctant gout sufferer and occasional curmudgeon.