Make us your home page
Instagram

Johnny Cash tribute artist will perform Saturday in Brooksville

Bill Forness performs as Johnny Cash, music that his grandfather loved.

Courtesy of Bill Forness

Bill Forness performs as Johnny Cash, music that his grandfather loved.

BROOKSVILLE — Like millions of boys, Bill Forness always wanted to be a rock star. With an electric guitar, he wrote and played music that made his mother cringe.

But being a rock star was not his destiny. Although Forness has been a musician for more than 20 years, it was only four years ago that he found his niche. It was one that should have been clear to him when he first started playing. It was the music that his grandfather, an old country guitar picker, loved so much that he decided to name his daughter, Forness' mother, June.

"I did it for my mother," Forness admits. "She never liked the music I was doing, and was always wanting me to play some old country. She said I had the voice for it."

Apparently, Mom was right.

When Forness decided to become a Johnny Cash tribute artist, his career kicked into high gear. He and his band, One More Round, have been performing nonstop throughout the country, and on Saturday they will present their show at the Hernando High School Performing Arts Center. Brittany Sheffer will be singing as June Carter, Johnny's second wife.

The show, which will be the group's first in Florida, is part of the Hernando Performing Arts Guild's 2013-14 season. Bringing the group to Brooksville was the idea of Sherry Pedonesi, a director with the guild who also happens to be Forness' aunt.

"I think he's phenomenal," Pedonesi said.

However, because Forness is her nephew, Pedonesi was hesitant at first to suggest his show to the guild. But once they watched him perform on YouTube, board members were excited.

The show includes some of Cash's greatest hits — I Walk the Line, Ring of Fire, Folsom Prison Blues and A Boy Named Sue as well as a variety of lesser-known songs, including some of his gospel tunes.

"I always try to do the hits that people know and love," Forness said, "but even some of the off ones are great songs."

The show also includes duets and a bit of theatrics, with Forness and Sheffer playing off the antics of June and Johnny.

While Forness sports the pompadour hairstyle and plays on a Gibson J-45 guitar, like the one Cash used, he does not claim to be a Johnny Cash imitator.

"I don't think I'm Johnny," Forness said. "This is a theatrical tribute that tells the life (Cash and Carter) led, with stories that some people don't know."

And although he didn't fulfill that boyhood dream of being a rock star, Forness said his tribute to Johnny Cash is not too far off.

"His music was cutting edge," Forness said. "Johnny Cash was an icon."

. If you go

Tribute to Johnny Cash

Tribute to Johnny Cash, with Bill Forness and the band One More Round

When: 7 p.m. Saturday

Where: Hernando High School Performing Arts Center, 700 Bell Ave., Brooksville.

Admission: Tickets are $25. Call (352) 799-5577 or visit hpag.org or the guild's Facebook page.

Johnny Cash tribute artist will perform Saturday in Brooksville 01/14/14 [Last modified: Tuesday, January 14, 2014 2:38pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Blake High grad Taylor Trensch lands lead role in 'Dear Evan Hansen' on Broadway

    Stage

    For those who saw Taylor Trensch grow up in Tampa, his rise from promising student to star is heartwarming and entirely predictable. In January, Trensch, 28, will be moving into the title role of Dear Evan Hansen on Broadway, one of the hottest tickets in theater.

    Taylor Trensch, a 2007 Blake High graduate, will play the title role in Broadway's Dear Evan Hansen. Courtesy of Frank Trensch.
  2. A scene from "Epiphany."
  3. Top things to do in Tampa Bay for Oct. 22

    Events

    Clearwater Jazz Holiday: The Avett Brothers: The Avett Brothers, with their blend of folk, bluegrass and rock, lead the lineup. 1:30 p.m., Coachman Park, 301 Drew St., Clearwater. $16 per day, $45 reserved, $170 VIP. (727) 461-5200.

    AUSTIN, TX - MARCH 15:  (L-R)  Joe Kwon, Bob Crawford, Seth Avett, and Scott Avett of The Avett Brothers pose for a portrait at the "May It Last: A Portrait Of The Avett Brothers" Premiere - 2017 SXSW Conference and Festivals on March 15, 2017 in Austin, Texas.  (Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for SXSW)
  4. Top things to do in Tampa Bay for Oct. 21

    Events

    Conor Oberst: The Bright Eyes mastermind will be joined by opener, the Felice Brothers. 8 p.m., Capitol Theatre, 405 Cleveland St., Clearwater. $30.50-$36. (727) 791-7400.

    Handout photo of Conor Oberst, performing Oct. 21 at the State Theatre in St. Petersburg. Credit: Grandstand Media
  5. McDonald's soft serve in Florida is made with handshakes and happy cows

    Consumer

    Floridians licked nine million McDonald's vanilla cones last year.

    Calves play with a rubber toy at the Milking R Dairy in Okeechobee, FL. Owners Sutton Rucks, Jr., and his wife Kris Rucks sell their milk to SouthEast Dairies cooperative, Edward Coryn of Dairy Mix in St. Petersburg buys it, transforms it into soft-serve ice cream base, and sells it to all the McDonald's. SCOTT KEELER   |   Times