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Now Wootton tours with a different musical family — his own, with his wife Vicky on guitar and daughter Scarlett on vocals as part of the Tennessee Three back up. Wootton’s eight-year-old will soon step out of the touring van as well. Already the youngster plays four instruments.
With Wootton and Holland for company, how could it be any other way?
Wootton started playing for Cash after Cash’s original guitarist Perkins missed a flight in the fall of 1968. Wootton stepped in for a solo show at the request of June Carter. Wootton later replaced Perkins when the guitarist died in a house fire. Wootton stayed by Cash’s side even after Cash’s semi-retirement in 1996.
“We played until he retired from touring when he got sick,” Wootton remembers. “I stayed another six or seven months to watch after him (before his death).”
Holland was an original member of Johnny Cash’s band, drumming out all of Cash’s hits, including Folsom Prison, I Walk The Line and Ring of Fire. Before joining Cash, Holland recorded with other legends including Carl Perkins on Blue Suede Shoes and Bob Dylan. His tour credits included the likes of Elvis Presley, Roy Orbison and Jerry Lee Lewis as part of the Sun Records artist tours. The Rockabilly Hall of Fame inductee was also awarded the International Rockabilly Hall of Fame Lifetime Achievement Award.
The group is currently touring North America promoting their newest tribute album to Cash, The Sound Must Go On . Tennessee Three is currently in the midst of producing a new album with Cash material as well as originals.
“We’ve go a lot of things in the works right now,” Wootton says.
Including a television show. But in the meantime, the two men hit the road once again to do what they love best.
“We have the original true sound,” Wootton says. “Nobody can exactly duplicate it. Most people play it too much. They play simple stuff and add more notes. But, you’ve got to play it simple.”
Simply played, simply put, these shows are as close to Cash as anyone will ever get in this lifetime.