Rosanne Cash Shares the Journey of Her New Album, ‘The River & the Thread’ – Exclusive Video
Rosanne Cash has just released a highly personal new album, 'The River & the Thread,' and in this exclusive video, she shares the unique journey -- both musical and literal -- of the album's creation.
The new project was inspired when Arkansas State University contacted Cash about their interest in purchasing the childhood home of her father, country legend Johnny Cash, in Dyess, Arkansas. She hosted a series of benefit concerts to help fund the project, which featured George Jones, Kris Kristofferson, Willie Nelson and the Civil Wars.
Marshall Grant, her father's bass player in the Tennessee Two, attended the rehearsal for the first show, but had a brain aneurysm that night and passed away three days later. Grant had been a surrogate father figure to Cash after her father died, and the time she spent with his widow, Etta, led her to write the first full composition for the album, 'Etta's Song.'
That touched off a unique song cycle that sees Cash revisiting not just her personal roots, but her Southern roots as well. Cash wrote all of the album's songs with her husband, John Leventhal, who also produced and arranged the album and played guitar. The album features a long list of guests, including John Paul White, Derek Trucks, John Prine and Tony Joe White.
The resulting album is one that Cash envisioned as the conclusion of a trilogy that began with 'Black Cadillac' in 2006 and continued with 'The List' in 2009. Her emotional and physical travels through the places in the South she thought she had left behind inform the songs at every turn.
“The veils were taken off some things that I thought I knew,” Cash says in the clip above. “It was powerfully inspiring.”
Cash has also created an interactive map of the new album on Pinterest, tying in the song lyrics with specific locations like the Tallahatchie Bridge in Mississippi, the Sunken Lands of Arkansas and Charcoal Hill in London, with many stops in between.