Robbinsdale Shop Owner also “Walks the Line” as Johnny Cash
Jay Kalk is an artist at owner at Minnesota Makers in Robbinsdale. He makes jewelry out of Minnesota stone.
“It’s the Lake Superior Agate,” explains Jay.
He believes in his work capturing the beauty of the stone and staying true to that beauty. The small stones become pendants in the shape of Minnesota for necklaces or earrings.
“I like to think I keep everything artistic,” says Jay.
True to form on stage
Jay transforms his artistry to the stage in exactly the same way.
“I’m not trying to act like Johnny Cash,” says Jay, who goes by Jay Ernest on stage. “I’m not trying to do an Elvis-style Johnny Cash.”
Instead, he lets the music of Johnny Cash speak for itself in a way that’s real and powerful. He is part of a band called Church of Cash, who tour around the U.S. and Europe.
“I just give the song its own credence and let that speak and sing to the audience because that’s what they are really here for. The song,” says Jay.
True to form in song
Jay not only sings Johnny Cash songs, but he writes them too.
“I wrote a song in a Johnny Cash-style about Minnesota and trains,” says Jay. “It’s Johnny Cash through and through, but I wrote it.”
Jay grew up listening to Johnny Cash on the radio while at home on the farm. He went on to sing a range of songs as a classically trained musician. Now he believes his voice has now matured in the perfect place to pay tribute to Johnny Cash.
“I’ve learned from my instructors back when I was young that your voice doesn’t truly mature until you hit your early 40s. Now that I’ve landed in my early 40s, I believe it’s finally landed. It’s true to form.”
Jay and the Church of Cash plan to tour in Europe in 2019.