Rosanne Cash has released her first song compilation in seven years on an album called The River & The Thread, and it all came about thanks to a road trip the singer-songwriter and daughter of Johnny Cash and stepdaughter of June Carter Cash took throughout the south.
"I have some Southern sensibility, but it would be false to say I'm Southern at the core," she said during a recent interview. "I don't think I could have written the record if I was. It required some distance."
A southerner by heart, Cash has spent the past two decades living in New York--after growing up in California. She took the drive to connect to those southern roots--and connect she did. Making several planned and a few impromptu stops along the way, Rosanne and hubby John Leventhal visited William Faulkner's childhood hometown. They sat on the Tallahatchie Bridge, sung about in Bobbie Gentry's hit song Ode to Billie Joe. She is even featured on the album's cover gazing out on to the Tallahatchie River.
Other Southern locales that made their way on to or strongly influenced songs on Rosanne Cash's new album include Florence, the James River in Virginia, Mobile, Nashville and a few stops in Arkansas, too. The Long Way Home--just one cut on the album, looks at emotions that lead you back to where it all began.
"What makes you care about where your parents came from in your 40s and 50s that you didn't care about in your 20s and 30s?" she said.
Cash doesn't perform on her album completely solo either, but instead is joined by a bevy of guests with Southern connections. John Paul White of the Civil Wars, guitarist Derek Trucks and singer Cory Chisel, Kris Kristofferson, John Prine, Amy Helm, Rodney Crowell and Tony Joe White are all featured on various cuts.
"I know writers who go to other locales just to shake it up, to get a shift in perspective so they can be inspired," she said. "We definitely had that in our mind. We knew that we would see things, feel things that would be out of the norm for us and hopefully would be inspiring. And they were."
Rosanne Cash autographed copies of The River & The Thread in Brooklyn on Tuesday.
I spent the afternoon in Brooklyn signing a lot of CDs and vinyl, ordered from my website. They're on their way now! pic.twitter.com/RoE6FcQEOI
— rosanne cash (@rosannecash) January 14, 2014
Getting ready to promote The River & The Thread nationwide, it will be fun to see how Johnny Cash's daughter's most recent foray into the music world goes. Her history and her rich singing voice--not to mention those songwriting skills (just look at her genes--how could she not be talented?) will likely take her new album all the way to the top.
Image via Wikimedia Commons