Johnny Cash, was a hero of mine. I was lucky enough to meet him and shake his hand at The Bismarck Hotel, in Chicago back in 1994. It was a perfectly sized room for an intimate show and I had the best seats in the house. In typical fashion, my friends and I had missed the opening act, The Jayhawks, and entered the capacity filled room just before the show was about to start. In what I believe to be just one of Johnny Cash and his family’s many hallmarks, we were met with generosity and open arms. They escorted us to the front of the stage and let us sit on the carpeted floor in front of the front row. That for me was as up close and personal as I could have ever hoped for: a ringside seat to the greatest show on Earth. After that, Johnny who had already renewed my admiration for him with the Rick Rubin produced “American Recordings”, was now firmly cemented in my consciousness and would take me on a ride that I did not see coming. 

Leaving Loyola of Chicago early where I studied Economics, I worked in the Stock Market at the CBOE, the Chicago Board of Options Exchange. As Johnny would say in “Oh, Bury me Not” I was a “weak-eyed prisoner of Waller Street”. Leaving the Market, I moved back to my home town of Libertyville, Illinois where I had a small business in the Construction field. Always longing for adventure and having dual Citizenship for being born on an American Naval Base in Newfoundland, Canada, I decided to go north. 

I was working in many capacities in all sorts of entertainment facilities before I finally opened my own spot. I was lucky enough to immerse myself in such a rich music scene and made many friends along the way, many whom were musicians who helped to rekindle my own desire to make music. I started singing again with a few of the bands that would come in for a show and started getting great feedback from the crowd. Having played in a few bands in high school and around through the years, I’ve never stopped writing songs, usually about life and my own struggles. That, coupled with weekly Jam Sessions at a friends’ that spanned into 7 years, I was ready to make a move. 

That is how Covered in Cash came into existence some 10 years ago. I knew I had the voice and I knew that Johnny’s music struck a chord in me that reached into my soul. I’ve had my trials and tribulations and yet I’ve still endured. It is a testament to the lyrics of the 70+ Johnny Cash songs that I play almost nightly and give me the strength to persevere and see that “The Sun’s Gonna Shine in my Back Door Someday”, to quote Mr. Cash in “Trouble in Mind”. 
Hope to see you soon, 
Rick “Johnny Cash” Auiler