Rosanne Cash Gets Romantic With Bruce Springsteen
When Rosanne Cash's father, the great Johnny Cash, gave her a list of 100 essential country songs as a way of teaching her the genre's heritage, there was no way he could've presciently named the contemporary artists that were best suited to cover those songs. Especially if those artists weren't traditionally even associated with country music to begin with. That artist list, a short one comprising just four singers, would be compiled by Rosanne herself, with the help of her husband and producer, John Leventhal.
"They're four gentlemen that I respect tremendously," Rosanne tells Spinner. "They were my dream team." And they are: Bruce Springsteen, Jeff Tweedy of Wilco, Elvis Costello and Rufus Wainwright. Each of those artists contributed guest vocals to a respective track on Cash's latest CD, 'The List.'
"It was fun talking about whose voice would be well-suited to each of those songs, but I was really surprised in all four cases," says Cash. "I mean with Bruce, what a great country harmony singer he is! Who knew? When we put the files together finally and heard it all the way through, John just said, 'My god! That's so romantic!' That's my own husband talking!"
Like many modern studio collaborations, Springsteen recorded his vocals separately and in a different studio entirely, due to his busy schedule. "His attention to detail was really impressive," says Cash. "The way he anticipated me on some of those lines ... I don't know that anybody else would notice that but me and John, but it just floored me that he did that. That he took the time to listen, to know exactly what kind of intonation I would use on the line that followed him, and then he matched it as if he were anticipating me. So specific and so technical that it just kind of blew me away."
Yeah, he's been known to do that to people, Rosanne.