Trimming down and teaming up

By James Keller

A new tour brings another stop in the extensive career of the Cash Brothers, a quartet of seasoned Canadian musicians. From Peter Cash’s stint with the Skydiggers to brother Andrew’s far-reaching solo career to their collaboration in recent years, the brothers’ folk-rock sound is about to change. From this library, fans will get a stripped down versions as they return to their roots. And they’re not alone this time.

"It’s really hard to make a go of it just doing the same thing over and over again," says Peter Cash. It is this view leading to the new tour which, for good reason, isn’t being billed as just the Cash Brothers.

Also featuring Jason Plumb from the Waltons, Craig Northey from the Odds and Jenny Whiteley, the latest tour isn’t quite a full band. Cash still isn’t sure how the sets will work, but there’s a lot of room to experiment.

"For this trip, we’re all playing acoustic guitars, and we’ll all take turns doing songs," says Cash. "I think a lot will be worked out as we go. At this point, we don’t actually know the structure yet, aside from the fact that we’re going to get up and play some songs."

The five-piece lineup is the result of a lot of planning, according to Cash. When it came down the final decisions, it was simply based on who could attend and who wasn’t already committed elsewhere. Regardless, Cash hopes this will bring about a closer connection with the audience than most shows allow.

"If you’ve ever been to a folk festival and seen the workshops, it’s kind of like that," he says. "It’s pretty informal and a little more intimate than a normal show."

Fans of each of the artists on the bill will experience the other musicians on the stage, perhaps for the first time. This is something that Cash realizes might not be preferable to some fans, but he hopes the response will be positive.

"It’s different in that if someone’s out to see Jason, he plays a song and they have to sit and wait through four others before he plays another," says Cash. "I hope everyone will be patient. It’s definitely a sit down and listen show."

Cash also admits the performances will be different from his side, as well. Everything from the line-up to the playlist will affect what fans see this time around.

"We’re used to playing 20 songs in a night, but on this trip, we won’t be able to play that many," explains Cash. "We have to be selective."

On Wed., Oct. 17, Cash Brothers fans, and those of everyone on board, got a taste of this bare-bones set Cash talks about. And, according to him, it was a chance for fans to see and hear the songs in a more fresh and raw environment than what they’ve been used to.

"This is how Andrew and I start out on a song, with me and him and our acoustic guitars," begins Cash. "It gives the audience a chance to hear the songs as they were before the band comes out and play on the record."

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