Man in Black: Shawn Barker Gets Rhythm as Johnny Cash
By Kristi Kates
Ive always been a Johnny Cash fan, as were my dad and grandpa, musician Shawn Barker says of his Man in Black tribute show. Johnny Cash grew up in the same area of Arkansas as my dads family. Growing up, I remember visiting my dads side of the family and hearing Johnny being played a lot on the radio and record player; I love Johnnys voice, and the way his songs tell a story. I also love the way he always let the music speak for itself.
Barker, who was born and raised in St. Louis and still lives there today when hes not traveling, began his interest with music in school, with his first performance experience as a line drummer with the school band in 8th grade. In high school, he sang with local cover bands and learned the guitar; later, his Elvis-like good looks drew him into performing at Elvis tribute shows.
I really loved his music, and thought he was so cool, so it fit for me, Barker says.
That good fit led to Barker traveling around the U.S. for a few years, performing at Elvis tribute shows, and even winning the Elvis tribute contest at the Gibson Showcase in Nashville. Then, things took an even more interesting turn.