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Interview:
Rosanne Cash is still on an excellent journey down her "River"
 

By GARY GRAFF
Digital First Media, @GraffonMusic

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Rosanne Cash felt like she'd made a special album with her latest release, 2014's "The River & the Thread."

But she didn't anticipate winning three Grammy Awards for it.

"I didn't expect it," Cash, 60, says by phone from her home in New York City. "I knew I did have something special, but you never know if it's going to rise above the noise. At this pint in my life you're just showing up for work and doing the best you can. I'm really grateful this happened for this (album)."

"The River & the Thread" took home Grammys for Best Americana Album, Best American Roots Song and Best American Roots Performance, the latter two for the track "A Feather's Not a Bird." Meanwhile, the album -- an intimate, personal travelogue about Cash's relationship to the South, where her parents (dad is the late Johnny Cash) hailed from -- has also spurred some prose writing from Cash for a variety of magazines, including the Oxford American and United Airlines' in-flight publication.

Cash and her band perform the album in its entirety during their shows, too, and she says time has given her perspective and new insights into the album that she could not have had back when she was writing and recording.

"I've realized in a much deeper way since we started performing it that it's about race and the debt I owe to black blues musicians and the debt that all roots musicians owe to black blues musicians from the Delta," Cash explains. "Some of that has come from singing 'Money Road' and going deep into the terrain of that. It's very humbling."

Cash has no plans to explore that direction in her own music, however. "I'm a nice white girl who grew up in California," she notes. Maybe in a future life I could be a real soul singer, a real blues singer. I long for that kind of expression, vocally, which I'm never going to get. But I love and respect it, and I've borrowed from it. We all have."

Cash is currently "just kind of getting back into the shallow end of writing stuff." She co-wrote three songs for HBO's "True Detective" this season and is working on a stage musical with her husband and producer, John Leventhal. She's also written a song with Sam Phillips that Cash plans to record for her next album -- whenever that transpire.

"It seems like once I start writing it just comes," she says "but I don't know if I'm going to write something for the play next or for myself. I've never been able to control that."

Rosanne Cash

7:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 3.

Macomb Center for the Performing Arts, 44575 Garfield Road, Clinton Township. Tickets are $40-$56.

Call 586-286-2222 or visit macombcenter.com.


Web Site: www.macombcenter.com

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