Johnny Cash fans will have the opportunity to relive a Cash performance by way of Bennie Wheels, who will make his way to Sweetwater again. This Johnny Cash tribute artist will put on a show at the Sweetwater Municipal Auditorium Saturday, March 30, performing many of Cash’s hits. The show will begin at 7:30 p.m.
The Sweetwater Municipal Band will not be a part of the musical entertainment as planned, but instead Crystal Meneses will open for Wheels.
Wheels and his band, Walkin’ the Line, have become a local favorite, having performed in Sweetwater a few times before. Concert organizers said Wheels does well as a Cash tribute artist with a believable likeness in his voice and appearance.
He not only offers a sound and look comparable to Cash. His wife, Renee, also looks and sounds like June Carter Cash, and she will perform alongside her husband as she has on the Sweetwater Municipal Auditorium stage before.
Wheels also credits his wife for bringing him out of his shell and encouraging him to perform. “I always wanted to sing in front of people, but I was shy,” he said. Bennie and Renee enjoyed entering karaoke contests, and he won such a contest singing Elvis songs. Then with his wife’s encouragement and professional training, he got himself on a stage. He also now plays guitar and a little harmonica.
Wheels continues to stay busy. He performs often in Branson, but he says he enjoys playing small, historic venues like Sweetwater’s Municipal Auditorium. “The people are down to earth,” he said. “I look forward to seeing everyone again, as well as new faces,” he said of Sweetwater.
His Walkin’ the Line band will be there to add to the musical fun, and they are very talented themselves. Bass player Franchot Johnston plays a stand-up bass to offer a tribute to Marshall Grant. Drummer Martin McCall comes to the stage with a lot of experience in the industry, and Dave Ervin is the newest member, offering his talent and experience on lead guitar to the band since 2007.
Tickets are $10 for general admission and are available at the Chamber of Commerce, 810 East Broadway. You can also call the Chamber at 235-5488.
Wheels invites everyone to check out his show and all those who have enjoyed him in the past to return. “I’m certainly not Johnny Cash, but I try to make my performances as authentic as possible,” he said.