The Cash Bash is more than just a reason to pull those biker boots and leather jacket out of the depths of the closet. It's a real-live kick-ass concert. The fifth annual Bash, hosted by Mandy Marie Luke, had everyone stomping the dust off of their boots to the honky-tonk goodness.
Mark Miller (bassist for BR549) and Kenny Taylor (Blue Moon Boys and the Chris Shaffer band) played a high-energy, Johnny Cash-laden set. An Indianapolis native, Miller played keyboard, guitar, standup bass and sang, while Taylor, "Southern by way of Fort Wayne," played righteous guitar and sang. Their set list included the tear-jerkers "25 Minutes to Go" and "Man in Black," as well as the playful "Boy Named Sue" and "See Ruby Fall."
Mandy Marie and the Cool Hand Lukes played two raucous sets chock-full of originals and Cash tunes. The band was a pleasure to watch -- they've clearly gelled and have become a force to be reckoned with. Mandy Marie is an honest-to-goodness great guitar player, fun to see with a woman-fronted band. Drummer Lewis Scott Jones marks great time, keeping the intense pace of the band, and new-to-the band guitar player Eric Grimmitt makes it all look easy. Morrison "Mo" Foster plays his upright bass like it's his best friend -- the kind of friend that you can stand on or get into a slap fight with.
Mandy Marie and the band played the title song from their upcoming record, "$600 Boots." Not only are they excellent musicians, but they are the most photogenic band this side of the Tennessee Three.
The Cash Bash was the perfect antidote to the winter doldrums. Even the not-so-cool kids were dancing and everyone left in a giggly-good mood.