Walk The Line Band
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Walk The Line Band

Band Country Americana


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"Cashing in on the man in black"

Cashing in on the man in black
The Lowell Sun
Article Last Updated: 04/03/2008 11:32:53 AM EDT

WHO: The Walk the Line Band

AKA: Bill Kirby, lead vocals, rhythm guitar; Bob Girouard, bass; Kevin Medeiros, drums; and Mark Thompson, lead guitar.

VISIT: www.myspace.com/thewalkthelineband

FAV COVER: "Rusty Cage"

HISTORY: In 2005, four lifelong musicians got together to form a Johnny Cash tribute band. Three years later, they're still walking the line playing shows in Western and Southern Massachusetts, and also in Rhode Island. They will bring their act North to Lowell this weekend when they play at the Brewery Exchange. We caught up with guitarist Mark Thompson to talk about the man in black.

By Rachel R. Briere


Is this your first show in Lowell?

Yes, our first time. We play mostly in Western Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

How did you end up with a gig in Lowell? Is there a demand?

Well, there is a demand and fans everywhere. Every place we go we pull out a good crowd.

Is every member of the band a Johnny Cash fan?

We're all big fans of Johnny Cash. We all like country western, rockabilly, that sort of thing. Every week we get together to play -- it's like guys night out.

Does the band have a favorite song to perform?

Lately the newer stuff that is on American Recordings produced by Rick Rubin. "Rusty Cage" and "Ghost Riders in the Sky."

Do you think that the film, Walk the Line has recruited Cash some younger fans?

Sure, the film gave a rebirth of Johnny. That let a younger generation see what Johnny Cash is all about. Then there are always people over 60 huddled in the corner all night. It goes both ways, but the movie definitely opened it up for the younger crowd.

Are there any other Johnny Cash cover bands around?

We are New England's only Johnny Cash tribute band. There's a fella down south in Florida and another out there but we're not an impersonation band, we are a tribute band.

What is the difference between an impersonation and a tribute band?

An impersonation band is a fella who dresses like Johnny Cash and sings just like him. Bill sings just like him too with a deep baritone voice but we don't try to duplicate it too much. If it isn't done well, it really doesn't look good.

Have you ever seen Johnny perform live?

No, no. Billy and I are going to see "Ring of Fire" on Broadway. That is the closest thing to Johnny.

Fall into a ring of fire at The Walk the Line Band's show tomorrow night at the Brewery Exchange, 201 Cabot St., Lowell. Show starts at 9 p.m. with a $5 cover.

- The Lowell Sun


Demos available upon request



Influenced by Johnny Cash's music and songwriting, we grouped together to pay tribute to the man that made being an outlaw cool, the man that only wore black. Johnny Cash. Together with front man Bill Kirby, Bob Girouard on bass, Kevin Medeiros on the skins and Mark Thompson playin' lead guitar, ~Walk The Line Band~ has delivered the sounds of Johnny Cash and his band for audiences all over New England. Like the Tennessee Three played years before. The music is simple and raw. " We keep his music alive by performing his songs from the Sun years to the Merc records days, in his classic style". With a large catalogue of tunes, the band is able to accomodate any venue they entertain, from special parties or weddings , to a complete 2 1/2 hour show. WTLB is not a Johnny Cash impersonation band . We are a tribute show. Rockabilly, and country blues are the sounds of Johnny Cash. Come let Walk The Line Band be part of your next function, venue, or special event!