It all began in prison. That’s where singer/strummer Corby Gallegos found his calling singing the songs of The Man in Black. He got a call one hot summer day from his pal, celebrity chef Jewell Rae Jeffers. She was doing a prison themed cooking show for the prisoners at Norco’s California Rehabilitation Center, and asked if he would mind coming to the prison to teach a band of inmates a few Cash songs to be performed during the show. He said…“Hell yeah!”
Working with the guys inside was a revelation. In the sweltering Norco heat, Corby and the guys hammered out the tunes in gritty style. The songs came to life within those walls, and soon it began to feel as if the spirit of Johnny Cash was there too, helping everything along. That’s about the time that something in Corby’s voice changed dramatically during rehearsal one day. He opened his mouth to sing, and Cash came out! Nothing would ever be the same again.
The show was a hit with the inmates, and Corby was encouraged by the guys to start a Cash band on the outside. “With a Bible & a Gun” is that band. He met guitarist Jim Vitale, whose story lay in the various strains of blues and country music that he wrapped up in some way or another as only he could manage. They realized that the music of Johnny Cash was a common thread that wove through their lives.
Together, Corby and Jimmy sang and played with gusto as they ripped into Cash’s catalogue. Drummer Alex Carlisle was the next cat to jump on board. Carlisle’s intuitive playing was informed by many different styles. He threw together the most basic of drum kits and proceeded to pound out his blistering take on Johnny’s train beat. Bassist Mike Salazar soon heard the same train’s call. Mike, a journeyman comfortable in rock-n-roll and blues, knew how to make only a few choice low notes do everything that a song needed. Once on board, Mike’s Fender bass locked those songs down like spikes through a rail tie.
“With a Bible & a Gun” eventually went back to Norco to play for the prison population there, and over the next two years have found themselves bringing Cash’s music to inmates and civilians alike in such venues as Molly Malone’s, The House of Blues and The Wiltern Theatre; playing with a diverse array of artists that include Flogging Molly, Robin Trower and The MC5’s own Wayne Kramer. The band is currently lined up to play the 2nd annual Johnny Cash Music Festival in Ventura, as well as a summertime residency at Tim Robbins’ Actor’s Gang in Los Angeles where they will help raise money and awareness for Arts in Corrections.
Corby Gallegos: vocals/rhythm guitar
Alex Carlisle: Drums
Jim Vitale: guitar
Mike Salazar: bass guitar
What to Expect
Typical Gig Duration: 45 - 180 minutes
One can’t deny the overwhelming intensity, sincerity and grit of Johnny Cash and his inspirational music, so visionary that it continues to mold new generations. With a Bible and a Gun effortlessly covers and respectfully honors these treasured classics, still as involving and innovative as the era in which they were first cut. With a Bible and a Gun configures the perfect rousing set consisting of gems like “Cocaine Blues,” “Walk the Line,” “Get Rhythm,” as well as Cash’s cover of Depeche Mode’s “Personal Jesus”; the end overall effect is an eclectic mix that showcases the boundless spirit of the Man in Black.
Corby is the master of his low-register with a timbre and vibrato all his own. This tight unit motors through each song without a hitch as if working through carnal instinct; their love of the music shows in spades.
You hear the Tennessee Three’s country laced grooves within Vitale’s ‘boom-chick-a-boom’ guitar plucking and Salazar’s rockabilly bass, perfectly encapsulating the rhythm that defines all of Cash’s records. Carlisle lays the foundation with impeccable resilience and a solid country backbeat bounce.
With a Bible and a Gun is not interested in caricatures and lifeless impersonations; it is an authentic and engaging ode to music that stands the test of time. The band brings a crowd to their feet with the greatest of ease and ignites their enthusiasm. "With a Bible and a Gun" leaves the crowd yelling for more!
Available for Your
Anniversary Party, Awards Night, Bar/Bat Mitzvah Party, Bar/Lounge, Birthday Party, Casino, Christmas Party, Club/Nightclub, Competition, Concert Venue, Convention, Corporate Event, Cruise, Dinner Dance, Fair, Festival, Fundraiser, Graduation, Grand Opening, Halloween Party, Holiday Party, Hotel, Parade, Private Party, Reunion, Studio Session, Trade Show, Wedding Reception, Workshop
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