Covered in Cash

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Submitted by Sandy Graham

Rick Aulier loves everything Johnny Cash. He loves his songs, his life stories, his legacy. So much so, he is the singer and inspiration behind Covered in Cash, a rockabilly/country/rock/acoustic band that can make you love Cash too.

Rick is an East Coast Canadian, who went Stateside, who came back and settled in Toronto, plays music, bought a restaurant bar with his enthusiastic business partner Scott Brockington, turned it into an Irish pub, An Sibin (pronounced Ahn Shebeen) and loves to perform. ‘I bought a bar so I could earn a living and do music, this is what I love. It is great to get up here with my band and entertain; especially Johnny Cash, whose songs I love to do’, Aulier drawls in a deep voice. 

Covered in Cash has a great line-up of musicians, on lead guitar sending out Allman-esque solos is James Quinn, on bass guitar seasoned Richard Bunnyboils holds the fort with a solid beat and great background oohs and ahhs. On acoustic guitar is Tom Price, almost looking too young to know the tunes, but obviously embraces them with great gusto and has a magnetic stage presence partnered with solid rhythms. Price also has background vocals that blend well with Aulier. On drums, the only ‘Irish’ part of the band is Conor Garrity, who keeps a solid hold on the backbeat of the show.

Aulier himself goes from pure country, ‘Long Black Veil’ to rockabilly with his own interpretation of Carl Perkins’  ‘Everybody’s Trying to Be My Baby’, where he excels, then to a raucous version of Shel Silverstein penned poem ‘A Boy Named Sue’, a tune Cash had a # 1 hit with on the charts.  ‘I’ve Been Everywhere’ is a mouthful for any seasoned entertainer, and Aulier challenges the crowd to sing it along with him and if you succeed ‘he’ll buy you a beer’.  As a witness to the act, I can tell you no one could keep up with him, no one won a beer.

Rick Aulier doesn’t try to be an impersonator of Johnny Cash,but if you closed your eyes and he started the set by saying ‘Hello, I’m Johnny Cash’, I think for one fleeting moment you would feel you just heard the voice of the Man in Black. His contagious banter on stage draws you in, and every now and then, when it gets more rockabilly than country, Rick Aulier tones it down with heartfelt ballads like the swan song of Cash, ‘Hurt’.

Covered in Cash is a great tribute to a great artist, but Rick Aulier has a song to sing of his own – and Cashbox will be looking out for this artist in the future to pave his own road to success with his own path to travel.

Editor’s Note: An Sibin is located at 709 Queen Street East in Toronto and is a venue that supports live entertainment most nights of the week. www.ansibinpub.com