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Guitarist who played with Johnny Cash to perform in Melrose

Bob Wootton, Johnny Cash's guitar player of 30 years, will be performing at the Melrose High School Auditorium on Sunday, August 21.

Wootton will be singing and playing original Johnny Cash songs, with local Minnesota boys Six Mile Grove as his opening act and backing band. Wootton and Six Mile Grove have been touring on and off since 2004, and are on the road again, this time to promote their (soon-to-be-released) album "Guaranteed Cash," a unique recording of Johnny Cash originals, sung by Wootton, who sounds eerily similar to the late Cash.

The album features a live version of the song "Orange Blossom Special", recorded during a performance at the Melrose American Legion on the last tour.  The doors open for the show at 6:30 p.m. and music begins at 7 p.m. The show will include special guest and Melrose native Jeff Braegelmann.

Tickets for the show are $20, and can be purchased at the Melrose American Legion, Freeport State Bank (Melrose), Central MN Federal Credit Union (Melrose), Coborns, online at or by calling Carol at (612) 290-6325.

Bob Wootton, "the man behind the man in black," played lead guitar for Johnny Cash from 1968-1998. He has performed all over the world, from Folsom Prison to the Buckingham Palace. Few people know Johnny Cash and his music as closely as Wootton does. "When I first met him, I was very much in awe," Wootton says. "We became very close over the years and what we had in common ... it was like I had known him all my life." In addition to playing with Johnny for 30 years, after stepping in one night when Cash's band was delayed, Wootton has also performed as Cash's stunt double in various movies. The resemblance is hard to miss. Joanne Cash, Johnny's sister has said "If John wanted his legend passed on to anybody, it would have to be Bob. John always regarded Bob as one of the family, and had great respect for him as a friend and performer."

Wootton returned to the stage for the first time since playing with Cash in January 2004, headlining a sold-out Cash tribute at the Cabooze in Minneapolis, MN, with Six Mile Grove as his band. Since then he has returned to the Midwest several times to tour with Six Mile Grove, as well as touring regularly across the country and in Europe with his family band that includes his wife and daughters.

Six Mile Grove is an Americana band with roots generations deep in the cornfields of southern MN. They have toured across the United States from the heart of New York City to the hills of Fairplay, CO. They have shared the stage with many national acts including, The Kentucky Headhunters, The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, and The Geardaddies. Their current album "Steel Mule" is charting and receiving airplay on Americana and Country radio stations in the US and Europe."