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The heart of Americana
on 13 October 2009
Rosanne Cash has always been in the back of my mind a country singer, but I have also seen her as a writer of songs that she also sings. In this CD, she is unleashed from the binds of her own work. and is singing tunes from a list her father gave her 36 years ago when she was a teenager. It is a list of the 100 folk/americana songs that she needed to know about. Somehow she picked twelve of the very best, and these suit her to a 'T'. She has made a CD that is pure love and music.
Roseanne has not had the life of luxury and fun that one might imagine from a child of a celebrity. Her father was a drug addict and on the road and missing from her life most of the time. Her mother was someone whose personality was closed. You did not divulge anything about the family. She found her own way and through a couple of marriages she is happy. In the past few years she has suffered much tragedy. Her father died, her mother died, her step-mother died. She could not sing for three years because of polyps on her vocal chords. She had a malformation of her brain that gave her such horrible headaches she had to have brain surgery which sidelined her for a year. But she seems to have conquered all of that and she attributes her positive attitude to her husband, love, music, and her children.
I listened to this CD several times and was taken by each song. I had heard each of these songs sung many times and by different artists. Rosanne Cash gives a new voice and meaning to each tune. Her husband, John Leventhal produced and played on most tracks. Rosanne's voice comes through clear with the melodies backed up with simple arrangements to showcase her voice. This is an album that that will grow and stay with us.
The 12 tunes on this CD were part of one hundred voices from Americana. The best writers, Hank Williams, Merle Haggard, Gary Davis and Bob Dylan. We mark my wr hear the sound of Patsy Cline in 'She's Got You'. 'Motherless Child' is a beautiful rendition with Rosanne's husband playing the guitar in a mournful manner. 'Sea of Heartbreak' sung with Bruce Springsteen is truly wonderful. This tune will be the number one pick, mark my words! The Boss does not roar but gently sings the rhythm. 'Take These Chains From My Heart', is longlingly lovely. 'I'm Movin' On' from Hank Snow takes on a new dimension. 'Heartaches By The Number' with Elvis Costello is more of a rocking rhythm than the rest. '500 Miles' is a tune that has been sung so many times, but never like this- it brings a funeral atmosphere. 'Long Black Veil' a tune we all know sung with Wilco's Jeff Tweedy, gives us an image of the words- 'Nobody knows, nobody sees, nobody knows but me'. Dylan's 'Girl From The North Country' brings back the image of her father, Johnny, singing this tune with Dylan. Rufus Wainwright, a favorite of mine, sings 'Silver Wings' with background harmony. 'Bury Me Under The Weeping Willow' is a fitting ending for this marvelous CD-we can feel the America that these tunes represent.
This is a low cut list of tunes that best represent the America we love. The story of how this list came to be, is an entry to the legend of Johnny Cash. Rosanne Cash has made these songs her own and has sung them in the straight forward manner that best represents her voice. Kudos to Rosanne Cash, this is just the Best!
Highly Recommended. prisrob 10-12-09
The Very Best of Rosanne Cash