On today’s two-hour edition of “The Freak Power Ticket,” a celebration of Johnny Cash, Americana music, and Country & Western (C&W) roots in the 805!
Of my next broadcast, producer / host Ted Coe writes: “‘How many of you that sit and judge me / Ever walked the streets of Bakersfield?’
Or of ‘Ventucky’ for that matter? (A name given to Ventura by both friends and foes of the neighboring, working-class beach community to the southeast of Santa Barbara, California.)
This past weekend, I attended ‘Roadshow Revival: A Tribute to the Music of Johnny Cash,’ an annual two-day festival of C&W, Americana, Folk, Rockabilly and other examples of Roots Rock ‘n’ Roll music, in Ventura’s Mission Park.
The event was particularly eye-opening for me as a lover of music from the American South and the Southwest. I had never before realized that the rationale for this now six-year old tradition is traced back to the history of Johnny Cash’s residence in Ventura County throughout the 1960s.
There has always been a detectable ‘retro’ vibe within our local culture. So close to Bakersfield, the seat of Kern County, the ‘TriCounties’ area is a particularly rich part of the world for fans of Americana music.
The very definition of a ‘Southern identity’ has been the subject of much debate in recent weeks, in the wake of the horrifying racist violence against parishioners in a Black church in Charleston, South Carolina. Today’s program will present an alternative take on Southern pride: blending white, black, and brown artists. Rebels of a more enlightened stripe.
I’ll touch on Johnny Cash’s C&W (and regional) legacy, along with the Bakersfield sound, and will also feature a selection of local and other contemporary artists who have sustained the ‘rootsy’ traditions of this part of the country.
Join me as we hop on a ‘Mystery Train’ straight from Nashville and Memphis all the way to Bakersfield, Ventura, and Casitas Ranch — and our local airwaves.”
“The Freak Power Ticket” airs on Mondays in the Summer from 11am-1pm PDT.