Roseanne Cash

"The River And The Thread"

(Universal); Americana

By ​Phil ​Bennett

Roseanne Cash’s latest offering sees her casting a reflective eye over her personal and musical history.

Given her lineage as the daughter of Johnny Cash and her rejection of the restraints that imposed (getting an early stagecoach out of Dodge via Europe and California before settling in the decidedly non-C&W New York City), she’s got a lot to look back on. But what this album seems to focus on is the magnetic pull of the South, with references to the Tallahatchie Bridge, Mobile and Biloxi.

Regardless of the geographical bent of her lyrics, though, what this album does do in spades is illustrate what a wonderful musical partnership she’s forged with her husband, guitarist and producer, John Leventhal.

From the seductive opening guitar twang of A Feather’s Not A Bird to the spacey but intense Money Road and the gorgeous interpretation of Townes Van Zandt’s Two Girls, the sound is muscular but sensitive, masculine and feminine, flexing and swaying to varying degrees throughout.

There are some top drawer moments on display, such as the insightful words that decorate Etta’s Tune, a song detailed from the viewpoint of her father’s recently deceased bassist, Marshall Grant, to his wife of 65 years, and the delicious combination of New Orleans brass and Appalachian fiddle on the Civil War ballad When The Master Calls The Roll.

There’s a rich musical heritage that threads its way through this recordand the journey is one of misty panoramas and winding trails.

A fine album.

​Phil ​Bennett

Musician, actor, singer, music reviewer, Phil’s interests cover a lot of bases and this is reflected in the music he writes about. From blues to soul, ambient to electronic, Phil writes about artists he feels are interesting, true to their craft and worthy of your ears.