Australian rocker Tex Perkins will undertake a stint behind bars at the old Parramatta Gaol for Sydney Festival 2015, embodying the spirit of Johnny Cash in a recreation of the legendary singer’s 1968 Folsom Prison concerts.
The special one-night only event will take place on 17th January 2015 as part of the Parramatta program for the annual Sydney Festival. Perkins will be joined by his band, The Tennessee Four and Rachael Tidd, who will reprise the role of June Carter, as they take over the decommissioned Western Sydney jail for an outdoor concert in the exercise yard.
Cash’s At Folsom Prison concert album, a live album recorded at one of California’s first maximum-security prisons, was released in 1968 and proved a hit amongst audiences while also being responsible for reviving his career.
“I think [Cash] did these concerts on one hand because it all fit into his image as an outlaw entertainer. But it also went hand-in-hand with his humanitarian side,” Perkins told the Sydney Morning Herald. “It was a perfect marriage.”
The Parramatta leg of the festival will kick off on Friday 9th January with a free twilight get-together, headlined by Australian music legend Paul Kelly. He will present his new collaborative project The Merri Soul Sessions, featuring Dan Sultan, Clairy Browne, Kira Puru and Vika & Linda Bull.
The Sydney Festival will also bring Quebec’s Cirque Alfonse’s Timber! to Australia for the first time. This show combines theatre, with physical comedy, and live banjo music as well as the circus skills displayed by three generations a family of circus-performers, including the 67-year-old grandad.
The full Sydney Festival 2015 program will be announced on Thursday, 23rd October.
Watch: Johnny Cash – Folsom Prison Blues