THE MAN IN BLACK: A TRIBUTE TO JOHNNY CASH
Since 2004, Shawn has been thrilling audiences with his The Man in Black: A Tribute to Johnny Cash show, performing over 1,000 shows in 12 countries including shows in Australia, Europe, Canada and throughout the U.S., selling more than half a million tickets over the course of his career.
Shawn is going to be performing in Key West on February 11 at the Key West Theater.
Over the years, Shawn has become known as the preeminent Johnny Cash tribute artist with his one-of-a-kind Cash tribute show garnering raves from fans and critics alike worldwide.
With his strikingly similar looks, baritone voice, and spot-on mannerisms, Barker’s uncanny resemblance to the original “Man in Black” revitalizes the true character and spirit of Johnny Cash himself, one of America’s greatest musical icons, for a truly one-of-a-kind show.
The energetic show features Barker in character throughout the entire evening, walking the audience through each era of Cash’s life and music, including hits like “Folsom Prison Blues,” “I Walk The Line,” “A Boy Named Sue,” “Hurt” and “Ring of Fire,” complete with a full backing band.
Born and raised in a working-class suburb of St. Louis, Barker took a schoolboy love for singing in church with his family and turned it into a career.
The path to his current success wasn’t a straight line from gospel choir to Johnny Cash tribute act.
After serving his country in the Army, Barker returned home to Missouri, took a job as a carpenter, and spent all his free time learning how to play the guitar. He developed strength and versatility in his voice by modeling his crooning on a cast of legends – Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley, Roy Orbison, Buddy Holly, and Gene Vincent.
His performances quickly turned from hobby to profession, but oddly enough, Barker’s first touring gigs were portraying Elvis, not Johnny Cash.
In 2004, Barker auditioned for the part of Elvis in the Broadway production of Million Dollar Quartet. The director, Floyd Mutrux (whose credits include the films Dick Tracy, American Hot Wax) recognized Shawn’s unique talent and requested Shawn to audition for the part of Johnny Cash. Shawn agreed and was instantly cast in the part with Mutrux saying, “We have 100 people who can play Elvis, but we only have one who can play Johnny Cash and that’s Shawn.” From that point on, there was no turning back for Shawn and his career path was set.
The late drummer, W.S. “Fluke” Holland, who was Cash’s drummer for many years and who played drums on the Million Dollar Quartet Sun Record Studio recording session in 1956 that featured Cash, Elvis, Jerry Lewis, and Carl Perkins, described Barker’s show as “exactly like The Johnny Cash Show from the 1960s. It’s amazing, when I saw it, it was like I was starting all over again.”
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