Fresh Air’s summer music interviews: Singer-songwriter Rosanne Cash
The List (2009) is an older album, but the story behind it is compelling. I admit, I’m not much of a country music fan. That said, I love Johnny Cash’s music. He is one of the few musicians/groups that belong in their own category, others include Elvis, the Beatles, and a handful of others. Frankly, I don’t listen to Johnny Cash’s music much. My ex adored his music almost as much as I adore the Beatles – almost. At this point, I’d just rather not. Now that that is all out of the way, you are probably wondering why I am bringing Johnny Cash into this discussion at all. I’m here to talk about his daughter’s album, not his. Well, The List (2009) wouldn’t exist without him. It is that story that fascinates me.
Supposedly when Rosanne turned 18, her father gave her a list of what he thought were the 100 most influential country and American songs to help expand her knowledge of music. Can you imagine? It would be as if I grew up the daughter of a world famous American author and he or she gave me a list of what he or she perceived to be the most important works in American literature. Unimaginable. Rosanne Cash, much to her credit, actually kept the list and turned it into a wonderful album, even if she only included 12 songs.
The interview is interesting enough. It is the reason why I checked out the album at all. The album itself, with all of its country roots, isn’t exclusively classified as country. It belongs to the folk and world genres as well. There are so many elements of folk music all throughout the album. It is timeless, which is precisely why you should check it out.