"Live From the Cash Porch," a series of free summer concerts from the boyhood home of Johnny Cash in historic Dyess Colony, kicks off Saturday with singer-songwriter Erin Enderlin.
It's a special setting for Enderlin, a Conway native who now lives in Nashville, Tenn.
"Johnny Cash has been a huge influence on me," she says last week on her way to a show in South Carolina. "Listening to country music growing up, it was obvious that Johnny Cash was going to be in my purview. Everybody knows about him, but I think I latched onto him because he was from Arkansas."
Enderlin's songs have been recorded by Alan Jackson, Lee Ann Womack, Luke Bryan, Randy Travis, Bill Anderson and others. She has performed on the Grand Ole Opry and has won multiple Arkansas Country Music Awards, including entertainer of the year in 2021 and five straight for songwriter of the year.
Her latest single is a cover of Cash's heartbreaking 1957 track "Give My Love to Rose," and Cash's daughter Rosanne sings on "Cut Through Me," a song from Enderlin's 2021 EP, "Barroom Mirrors." She also performed during last year's virtual Johnny Cash Heritage Festival.
"I love storytelling," Enderlin says. "Digging into his music, I mean, 'Give My Love to Rose,' could be a movie in three minutes. I love how he did that. I love artists who aren't afraid to be vulnerable, who aren't afraid to put themselves in someone else's shoes and show not just the perfect, shined-up diamond of a human but show the flaws and realism along with the love and beauty and strength."
Cash was born Feb. 26, 1932, in Kingsland and died Sept. 12, 2003, in Nashville. His career spanned the early days of rock 'n' roll in the 1950s at Sun Studios in Memphis, to a successful career in country music through the '60s and '70s and a comeback in the late '90s and early 2000s as a younger generation discovered his music and rebellious image.
There's a poster of Cash in a recording studio that Enderlin has had for years.
"It's been on various dorm room walls and apartment walls. I remember being in college and brushing my teeth and looking at it and saying, all right, you're going down to Music Row someday to write a song Johnny would be proud of."
Enderlin says her Saturday set will be a mix of originals and a few covers.
"I also want to tell stories, and that seems like a perfect place to do that," she says.
Drinks and snacks will be sold during the show, and attendees can take lawn chairs or blankets. Tents will be set up to provide shade.
"Live From the Cash Porch" continues with a performance by Brad Webb & Blind Mississippi Morris on July 16 and Trout Fishing in America on Aug. 20.
Live From the Cash Porch: Erin Enderlin
- When: 4:30 p.m. Saturday
- Where: Johnny Cash Boyhood Home, 110 Center Drive, Dyess
- Admission: Free
- Information: (870) 764-CASH; dyesscash.astate.edu