Friday, 19 April 2013 11:27

Harold Ford Heads for Bigger and Better Things With Tribute to Johnny Cash

By Chelsea DiSchiano | Entertainment

SARATOGA SPRINGS – As he prepares for his upcoming show at Saratoga Music Hall this weekend, Harold Ford, otherwise known as the Johnny Cash lookalike/tribute singer, stopped to reflect on his band’s accomplishments and look ahead to his promising future.

Ford, who has played guitar since he was 15 but spent 23 years working in forest services out West, said his career as a tribute singer to Johnny Cash has “snowballed” faster than he could have imagined. It was only four years ago when he sang his first Johnny Cash song on stage—at an open mic, where his girlfriend pushed him to sing a song and suggested he sing Johnny Cash.

“People were pretty enthusiastic about it,” Ford stated simply. “It snowballed from there and it just started coming to us—we didn’t look for anything.”

Since then, Ford formed his band—complete with his friend Laura Lucy paying tribute to June Carter—and has since traveled extensively throughout the U.S., up to Canada and even played a tour in British Columbia.

But Ford made a point to emphasize that he is not a Cash impersonator.

“I’ve never spent five minutes trying to impersonate him—I just don’t identify with that kind of thing,” Ford said. “I was born with this voice and I like his songs. I’m not out there trying to change my voice to sound like Cash—I want no part of any fake impersonating.”

Ford did say he seems to feel the spirit of Johnny Cash in him when he performs, hence his band’s mantra: “The Spirit of Johnny Cash.”

“I feel the spirit of the music and it just seems to come out that way naturally, so mostly I’m thankful for being able to do it,” Ford said. “I’m just getting out there with my guitar and the voice I was born with, and I really appreciate the niche that seems to be snowballing us everywhere.”

Ford added that his somewhat astonishing physical similarity to Johnny Cash adds to the “spirit” experience people get when they see him on the streets or watch him perform. Recently, when he was visiting the Tennessee Performing Arts Center in Nashville, a venue that Cash himself played at, Ford said he received many stares.

“What’s nice about Tennessee Performing Arts is that Cash has been there, and some of the employees were doing double-takes when they saw me—the security guard almost fainted,” Ford said with a laugh. “He turned around and saw me and sat down in his chair—I think things like that are funny. I’m not a crazy person, and I’m not Cash, but there’s some spirit effect or something.”

The future looks bright for Ford: the band will play at the Tennessee Performing Arts Center on June 28, and a tour in Europe may be in store for the future.

“We’ve had offers from Scotland and England [to come play], but we want to connect the dots and make a tour—people from Scotland are begging us to come over, but we still have a lot we want to do in the States and we’re making the scene into Nashville and we’re being told that everybody is so excited,” Ford said.

The band’s first Nashville show is a “rite of passage,” Ford said.

“It’s going to be the first Cash show in Nashville since he passed away, so it’s kind of an honor for me,” Ford explained. “Tommy Cash (Johnny Cash’s younger brother) bought the first four tickets and a lot of important people are going to be there.”

Ford added that the Nashville show is sure to bring his band even more status after they play.

“We’re really going to be certified after we get through Nashville—it’s a status thing,” Ford said. “You have to apply to those places—they don’t let just anybody play, and they haven’t let anyone who plays Cash down there since he passed away, so we’re really pleased and they’re saying people are excited.”

Until then, Harold Ford and The Cash Band will be playing several tour dates, including their show at Saratoga Music Hall Friday, April 26. Doors open at 6 p.m. with the show beginning at 7 p.m. Tickets are $20 and can be purchased by calling (518) 683-0913.

“We’re deliberately setting this Saratoga Music Hall show up with a lot of different things than [the locals] have seen before, so they’re not going to see a cookie-cutter show,” Ford said. “The beginning of the show is a lot different and is more high-energy, and the show ends with high energy.”

“I love what I’m doing,” Ford said. “It’s meaningful for me and it seems to be that way for the audience, too.”

Read 6102 times

Blotter

  • Saratoga County Court  Sara N. Babinski, 35, of Schuylerville, was sentenced to 3 months incarceration/ 5 years probation, after pleading to felony DWAI, charged January 2024 in Saratoga Springs.  Thomas R. McCall, 35, of Rensselaer, pleaded to criminal possession of a weapon in the second-degree, in connection with a March 2024 incident in Saratoga Springs, when city police initiated a traffic stop on a vehicle on South Broadway and located a Magnum .357 revolver with ammunition underneath the driver’s seat, according to a statement by Saratoga County District Attorney Karen Heggen. Further investigation determined that the firearm belonged to the defendant,…

Property Transactions

  •   BALLSTON  Frederick Wright sold property at 78 Beacon St to Jacqueline Zielinski for $361,000 Barbera Homes Kelley Farms sold property at 30 Paddock Pl to Erik Weiskopf for $716,959 Harold Tomlinson sold property at 429 Devils Lane to Amy Hotaling for $575,000 CORINTH Khalil Grant sold property at 5049 Rt 9N to Colin Murray for $239,500 Angela Wingle sold property at 83 Clothier Dr to Brittany Dunston for $249,900 Foothills Builders sold property at 49 Black Bear Path to Zachary Yetter for $455,605 Gwendoyln Matson sold property at 116 County Route 10 to Victoria Bourque for $169,000 MALTA  David…
  • NYPA
  • Saratoga County Chamber
  • BBB Accredited Business
  • Discover Saratoga
  • Saratoga Springs Downtown Business Association