New Fife festival celebrates Johnny Cash’s links to Kingdom

American singer Johnny Cash (Pic: TSPL)
American singer Johnny Cash (Pic: TSPL)

A festival inspired by country music legend Johnny Cash will take place in Fife next year.

The brainchild of singer/songwriter Dean Owens, ‘Cash Back in Fife’ will run at the Woodside Hotel in Aberdour from Friday, March 6 to Sunday the 8th, featuring a line-up of musicians who take inspiration from the Man in Black, along with Fife author Ian Rankin.

Edinburgh musician Owens said that Cash and his music have had a big impact on him.

“I was first aware of him as a kid but not seriously until I got into music myself, playing and writing,” he says, “it was then I really started to appreciate him as a writer.

“When you’re a kid growing up in Scotland the Johnny Cash that you hear is the Folsom Prison and ‘A Boy Named Sue’ one, but there’s a lot more to him than that.

“There’s a huge amount of integrity in his music and he was always on the side of the underdog. That really resonates with me.

“He’s been a huge influence musically on me, so much so that a couple of years ago I made a pilgrimage to his childhood home in Arkansas. That was really special.”

Owens says that the idea came to him after a trip to Fife to the same area that Cash himself visited in 1981.

“I had played a little show in Aberdour in the summer. For some reason it was the first time I had ever been there so ahead of my show I took a wee wander and fell in love with the place.

“Then I came across this article about Johnny’s visit to Fife, discovering his family roots there and playing at Falkland Palace so the idea came to me from that.

“Why don’t we connect Cash to the music that’s around just now with some of the artists that have been inspired by Johnny Cash?

“And it’s not just musicians, obviously we’ve got Ian Rankin as well. It was just a case of reaching out to a few people I thought would be into it.”

Joining Owens will be Rab Noakes, Hannah Rose Platt, Martha Healy, David Latto, The Marriage who feature Fife legend Stuart Adamson’s daughter Kirsten, as well as author Rankin.

Owens said: “It’s not a tribute, it’s more a singer-songwriter festival with people who have been inspired by Johnny Cash to make music themselves.

“It’s a great line up and we’ll be playing individually so I’m sure we’ll be playing a few Cash songs as a wee nod to him, but it’s more celebrating his legacy.”

• A weekend pass costing £45 entitles you to attend all the concerts and events, but doesn’t include food or accommodation.

Tickets can also be purchased separately for individual gigs and events.

A limited number of special deals which include accommodation are available direct from The Woodside Hotel. Contact John McTaggart on 01383 860328 or go to the website woodsidehotelaberdour.co.uk.

The Cash Back in Fife website is HERE www.deanowens.com/cash-back-in-fife.