Rosanne Cash Looks South On New Album, “The River & The Thread,” Out January 14, 2014

Posted by Kristina Burton on 09/19/2013
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The River & The Thread, Rosanne Cash’s first album in more than four years, will be released on January 14, 2014. Cash wrote the album’s 11 original songs with her longtime collaborator (and husband) John Leventhal, who also served as producer, arranger and guitarist. See below for track listing.
 
The Chicago Tribune hailed Cash’s 2010 bestselling memoir, Composed, as "one of the best accounts of an American life you will likely ever read." With The River & The Thread, Cash turns her attention to other American lives and locations. The album richly evokes the Southern landscape – physical, musical, emotional – and examines the indelible impressions it has made on our own collective culture and on Cash.
 
The River & The Thread is sweeping in its breadth, capturing a unique, multi-generational cast of characters – from a Civil War soldier off to fight in Virginia to a New Deal-era farmer in Arkansas to a contemporary Mobile, AL couple. While Cash and Leventhal found inspiration in the many musical styles associated with the South – swampy Delta blues, gospel, Appalachian folk, country and rock, to name a few – this is a completely contemporary collection. Cash’s crystalline voice and Leventhal’s compelling guitar work are at the heart of the album, and they bring in additional instrumentation to suit the tone of each particular song – from the delicate orchestral passages of “Night School,” (which nods to Stephen Foster, who also had a deep affection for the South) to the ghostly keyboards of album closer “Money Road.”
 
The River & The Thread follows 2009’s The List, which was named Album of the Year by the Americana Music Association and nominated for two GRAMMY® Awards.
 
“If I never make another album I will be content, because I made this one,” says Cash of The River & The Thread, which is a marked departure from her earlier works.
 
She was joined in the studio by a cast of friends and fellow musicians who also have a deep affection for and/or roots in the South, including Cory Chisel, Rodney Crowell (who also co-wrote one song), Amy Helm, Kris Kristofferson, Allison Moorer, John Prine, Derek Trucks, John Paul White (The Civil Wars), Tony Joe White and Gabe Witcher (The Punch Brothers.)
 
Cash and her band will preview songs from The River & The Thread at two special events this fall. This Thursday, September 19, she will perform at 3rd and Lindsley in Nashville, a showcase that is part of the Americana Music Festival. (She will also present the award for Album of the Year the previous evening at the Americana Honors & Awards show at the Ryman Auditorium.)
 
On December 5, Cash will begin a three-day residency at the Library of Congress in Washington, DC. Events will include a concert, a round robin with Leventhal, Crowell, Cory Chisel and Amy Helm and a conversation with Natasha Trethewey, U.S. Poet Laureate. For additional details, visit http://www.loc.gov/today/pr/2013/13-141.html.
 
 “We were dreaming of the Tallahatchie Bridge, and we found it,” says Cash. It’s an inevitable, essential destination on this journey through the Southern spirit, a journey that begins with the artist’s assertion in the opening track that “a river runs through me.”
 
Rosanne Cash - The River & The Thread - Track Listing
1.      A Feather's Not A Bird
2.      The Sunken Lands
3.      Etta's Tune
4.      Modern Blue
5.      Tell Heaven
6.      The Long Way Home
7.      World Of Strange Design
8.      Night School
9.      50,000 Watts
10.    When The Master Calls The Roll
11.    Money Road