A year ago, Studio Tenn presented an original revue inspired by the music of Hank Williams. That general formula is now revisited with The Cash Legacy, featuring two-and-a-half hours and some 35 songs' worth of the career of Johnny Cash. This newer piece seems way more engaging than its predecessor, though maybe it benefits simply from the fact that Cash — having lived a full life embodying triumph over tribulation — represents a more tangible figure in history than the mysterious, alcoholic and gone-way-too-soon Williams. In other words, Cash we truly knew and loved — and admired.
As a show-biz star, Cash enjoyed a career that crossed over into television and movies and found him mixing musically with artists whose main milieu lay outside country-and-Western. It is the breadth of that musical legacy that is celebrated in director Matt Logan's rich, sometimes unexpected amalgam of material, arranged by musical director Don Chaffer with an eye toward fresh reinterpretations of songs that retain their connection to the master who recorded them.