My father doesn’t get heroworshippy over many people. I think that I can only think of four people who actually fall in to that category for him. John Wayne, his uncle Percy, Slim Dusty and a bloke called Johnny Cash. From my 20’s, I called Johnny, Rosanne Cash’s Dad, whenever Pa mentioned Johnny.
I love Johnny too, truth be known, but I always loved Rosanne’s music and I liked what she stood for – then and now. This is a powerhouse album. Like her Dad, she is never backwards in coming forward, leaving very few stones unturned. I have played this album many times since I bought it and I have been waiting for the right words to explain how I feel about the songs. The stand out track is the song that she wrote about her parents Everyone but Me.
I read a review where they said something very profound. She could not have written this album in the 80’s. Well, that seems a bit flip on the surface, but it actually makes a lot of sense. This is an album written by an artist and woman who has lived a life and a half. It was written by a songwriter who displays a maturity but with a fresh brush. There are subjects here that you can only talk about when you have lived it, when you have walked that country mile and when you are a survivor. The subject matter at times could not have been included in country songs in the 80’s, especially by a woman, but bravely and beautifully, Rosanne Cash delivers.
This is the deluxe version. I always buy the deluxe one if it is affordable, because you get a few extra tracks or information for not much more. Rosanne is joined on a track by one of her Dad’s best mates, Kris Kristofferson (my favourite American Country music songwriter of all time) and Elvis Costello. Colin Meloy and Sam Phillips also join her on some tracks.
There are some wonderful lyrics, gentle rhythms, twangy guitars and a woman singing at her finest ever on this album. I could wax lyrical for days about the songs on this album. It is pretty much a masterpiece, delivered by one of the best mistresses of song. These songs are powerful, haunting, thought provoking, with the ability to touch your heart and your soul. I love Rabbit Hole, Crossing to Jerusalem, Not Many Miles to Go, Every day feels like a new goodbye, The Parting Glass is a fitting end to the album.
Chalkie White commented on a review I did of his album this year when I said that he had me crying with some of the songs on his album. He said “Sorry, not sorry.” I am sure that Rosanne would say something similar. The thing that I love most about good music is the emotion that it brings. If it makes you laugh or cry, or remember, then the song and the songwriter have done their job well.
It is hard to be the daughter of a legend. People put extra pressure on you to perform at the highest level and you would have to prove to people that you are not just there because of your last name.
Rosanne proved long ago that she was a diamond, now she has kept us believing and she has an extra shine to her star. And despite many family gems, she stands out, still.
I’ll pay cash every time for this gal who deserves all the credit.
The Only Thing Worth Fighting For (feat. Colin Meloy)
The Undiscovered Country
8 Gods of Harlem (feat. Elvis Costello & Kris Kristofferson)
Rabbit Hole (feat. Colin Meloy)
Crossing to Jerusalem
Not Many Miles to Go
Everyone but Me
She Remembers Everything (feat. Sam Phillips)
Particle and Wave
My Least Favorite Life
Nothing but the Truth (Bonus Track)
Every Day Feels Like a New Goodbye (Bonus Track)
The Parting Glass (Bonus Track)
Released: Nov 2, 2018
Blue Note Records; ℗ 2018 Plainsong Recordings, LLC, under exclusive license to Capitol Records, LLC
Also Available in iTunes