The People

 
 
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David Burney

LEAD SINGER

David grew up in Leland, NC, where he cropped tobacco, played baseball and listened to his parents album collection. While his father preferred the classic country songs of Buck Owens, Hank Williams, Hank Snow, Johnny Cash, and Roger Miller, his mother leaned towards the R&B greats – Sam Cooke, Fats Domino and Chubby Checker. To David, it was all simply great music.

Today, David makes his home in Wendell, NC. In addition to belting out Johnny Cash hits, he is a designer and a leadership coach. He has three children and is happiest when he’s boring them with his corny jokes and bad advice, or when he’s sharing ice cream with his 2-year-old grandson whose name, by the way, is ‘Cash.’

Favorite Johnny Cash song: Big River
Musical Influences: Johnny Cash, the Kinks, David Ruffin, Curtis Mayfield, Talking Heads, Doc Watson
Happy Places: A baseball field or a sandy beach

 
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Eleanor Jones

VOCALIST

Eleanor was born in Staunton, Virginia and spent her formative years in Kentucky and North Carolina. She graduated Virginia Tech with a theatre arts degree, and then set out to see the world. She lived in New York City, San Francisco, and Los Angeles acting, singing, writing and performing comedy. She now makes Raleigh home.

Favorite Johnny Cash Song: Jackson
Musical Influences: Broadway show tunes, 70’s folk rock
Happy Places: Pawley’s Island, Zion National Park, Kanuga, Haw River Ballroom

 
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David Gresham

GUITARIST

David’s earliest memories are of his parents singing and playing musical instruments. His Dad was an accomplished musician; guitar was his main instrument. While most of his friends were interested in hunting and fishing, David was always interested in the home record collection — Chet Atkins and Johnny Cash got heavy rotation.

David began playing guitar himself around the age of eight. When a new friend moved in next door and introduced David to Van Halen’s album Women and Children, David was hooked. After his father passed away when he was 14, David really became immersed in playing his heroes including the Rolling Stones and Metallica.

As an adult David became a Raleigh Firefighter and began to raise a family of three daughters and a son. But he took a hiatus from playing until a chance meeting with a local musical hero — Terry Anderson — inspired him to plug in his old telecaster. He soon rediscovered the music of his childhood and has been playing Johnny Cash ever since.

Favorite Johnny Cash song: The Ballad of John Henry’s Hammer
Musical Influences: Johnny Cash, Van Halen, The Yayhoos
Happy Places: Walt Disney World

 
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Randal Benefield

DRUMMER

Randy is from the Cleveland/Akron area, a region rich with rock music history. He grew up listening to 60’s and 70’s rock and learned to play drums to early surf music and with neighborhood rock bands. He moved to North Carolina in the late 80’s and has practiced dentistry in North Raleigh for over 25 years. When not playing drums he enjoys sports and is happiest when sitting in the stands watching his high school age son, Jon, play baseball. Randy’s favorite Johnny Cash song is Wreck of the Old 97, which references Spencer, NC, and is performed nearly every show by the JF4.

Favorite Johnny Cash song: Wreck of the Old 97
Musical Influences: Herb Albert, The Who, Ray Wylie Hubbard
Happy Places: Petting my dog, Belle; driving my ’74 Ford pickup and smoking a stogie; watching the boy play baseball; behind a drum set

 
Tom Mills, bassist

Tom Mills

BASS

Tom was a tiny tot when his family arrived in America as immigrants from the UK. After a few years in Indiana and Wisconsin, home was Fayetteville, NC. Tom went back overseas for schooling so while at home he was musically exposed to the radio hits of the 70’s, including the likes of Earth Wind and Fire, KC and the Sunshine Band and Rick James, across the pond he was listening to The Cure, U2, The Sex Pistols and The Psychedelic Furs. As a schoolboy he had formal training in piano, clarinet and choir. Tom arrived in Raleigh to attend NCSU and earn an MSc in Electrical Engineering and currently continues a career in the semiconductor industry. It was during those early college years when he found his passion for playing bass and from his first band he has remained an active bass player which has led him to his role in The Johnny Folsom 4.

Favorite Johnny Cash song: I Never Picked Cotton
Musical Influences: Fred Calvin Marshall, Marcus Miller, Mo Foster, Nate Mendel
Happy Places: With my kids or on a snowboard or on a surfboard or playing music with friends