LIVE: Rosanne Cash @ Troy Savings Bank Music Hall, 3/5/14

March 13th, 2014, 4:00 pm by Greg

Rosanne Cash and John Leventhal @ Troy Savings Bank Music Hall

Review by Bokonon
Photographs by Wanda Callagy

Rosanne Cash is Johnny Cash’s daughter. You can say that now. God knows you couldn’t years ago.

Early in her career, the distaff Cash righteously and rightfully fought to cut her own turf, building a catalog built on melancholy and melody. In the process, she became a country star, racking up 21 Top 40 country hits, including 11 number ones.

With 1990’s darkly personal Interiors, she broke her own mold, turning away from Nashville for a new New York look, sound and mouthfeel. She became something more than a recording artist — simply an artist.

But when Cash lost her parents (Johnny Cash and Vivian Liberto) and her stepmother, June Carter Cash, she turned hard again, for the first time truly embracing her legacy and her deep southern roots.

At the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall last week, Cash’s roots were showing.

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LIVE: Rosanne Cash @ MASS MoCA, 5/28/11

June 2nd, 2011, 3:00 pm by Greg

Rosanne Cash’s brave transformation from country music star to sublime singer-songwriter is right up there with any of the bold chameleon-like career moves by bigger and flashier pop stars like David Bowie, Neil Young or Madonna.

Now it seems as though maybe Cash is ready to move on to something else, and I’m not just talking about her opening number at MASS MoCA on Saturday night – a moody, haunting interpretation of Hank Snow’s classic “I’m Movin’ On.”

At the Empire State Book Festival at the Empire State Plaza two months ago, Cash noted that although she still considers herself primarily a songwriter rather than a singer, her most successful album of the past 20 year is her latest, “The List,” which doesn’t include even a single one of her own songs. “It really shook me up,” she said at the time.

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LIVE: Rosanne Cash @ the Empire State Book Festival, 4/2/11

April 6th, 2011, 1:00 pm by Greg

Rosanne Cash: Composed

She wasn’t there to sing.

Rather singer-songwriter-author Rosanne Cash was the closing keynote speaker at the second annual Empire State Book Festival last Saturday afternoon at the Empire State Plaza in Albany.

And she didn’t sing – except for a very brief a cappella snippet of her song, “Sleeping in Paris.” Instead, she read excerpts from her recently published memoir “Composed.” She conducted a wide-ranging Q&A with the audience. She talked about the importance of books. She spoke about the power of metaphor. And she discussed her overwhelming desire to lead “the artistic life” and escape from “the morphine dream of success.”

Here are just a few random notes from her appearance:

On her childhood: “I was the geeky 11-year-old who asked to be dropped off at the library on Saturdays while my friends were off doing other things. Librarians became my heroes, my very first heroes.”

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Empire State Book Festival Returns… With Rosanne Cash

January 4th, 2011, 11:00 am by Greg

Rosanne Cash

We had a blast last spring at the inaugural Empire State Book Festival at the Empire State Plaza (see our review), and we were hoping that it might become an annual event.

Well, we’re in luck…

The second annual Empire State Book Festival is scheduled to take place at the Empire State Plaza from 10am-5:30pm on Saturday, April 2 – and we’re super-extra excited that the afternoon speaker at the fest will none other than singer-songwriter-author Rosanne Cash, whose memoir, “Composed,” was published last year. It’s Cash’s third book, following the short story collection, “Bodies of Water” and the children’s book, “Penelope Jane: A Fairy’s Tale.”

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The Man in Black

February 26th, 2010, 9:55 am by Greg

Johnny Cash at the Starlite Theater 9/3/94 (photo by Martin Benjamin)

Johnny Cash at the Starlite Theater 9/3/94 (photo by Martin Benjamin)

“Man In Black” (by John R. Cash)

Well, you wonder why I always dress in black,
Why you never see bright colors on my back,
And why does my appearance seem to have a somber tone.
Well, there’s a reason for the things that I have on.

I wear the black for the poor and the beaten down,
Livin’ in the hopeless, hungry side of town,
I wear it for the prisoner who has long paid for his crime,
But is there because he’s a victim of the times.

I wear the black for those who never read,
Or listened to the words that Jesus said,
About the road to happiness through love and charity,
Why, you’d think He’s talking straight to you and me.

Well, we’re doin’ mighty fine, I do suppose,
In our streak of lightnin’ cars and fancy clothes,
But just so we’re reminded of the ones who are held back,
Up front there ought ‘a be a Man In Black.

I wear it for the sick and lonely old,
For the reckless ones whose bad trip left them cold,
I wear the black in mournin’ for the lives that could have been,
Each week we lose a hundred fine young men.

And, I wear it for the thousands who have died,
Believen’ that the Lord was on their side,
I wear it for another hundred thousand who have died,
Believin’ that we all were on their side.

Well, there’s things that never will be right I know,
And things need changin’ everywhere you go,
But ’til we start to make a move to make a few things right,
You’ll never see me wear a suit of white.

Ah, I’d love to wear a rainbow every day,
And tell the world that everything’s OK,
But I’ll try to carry off a little darkness on my back,
‘Till things are brighter, I’m the Man In Black.

Today marks the 78th anniversary of the birth of Johnny Cash, one of the most influential figures, not just in country music, but in American music.

Although Cash died in 2003, this week his new album, “American VI: Ain’t No Grave,” was released on Lost Highway Records, marking his final collaboration with producer Rick Rubin. Fans from all over the world are being invited to help celebrate Johnny Cash’s life, music and the enduring voice he gave to the poor and
beaten down by posting pictures of themselves wearing black today.

Go here for information and links to join the Facebook event (to post your photos), follow on Twitter and to hear the album’s first single, “Ain’t No Grave.” All participants will be eligible to win a copy of “American VI: Ain’t No Grave,” as well as the 5-CD Johnny Cash box set, “Unearthed.” The lucky winner will be chosen at random on March 12.

NOTE: This contest is NOT sponsored by We’re just passing on the info to you.

Also, in celebration of Johnny Cash’s birthday, there are several special musical events taking place around Nippertown. Unfortunately, three of them are all taking place on Saturday night.

Sublime singer-songwriter Rosanne Cash and her band step into the spotlight at The Egg in Albany at 8pm Saturday, playing music from throughout her career, as well as highlights from her latest album, “The List,” based on a list of seminal country songs that her father gave her years ago. Singer-songwriter-violinist Jenny Scheinman opens the show. Tickets to the concert are $34.50.

Meanwhile at the Van Dyck in Schenectady, many of the area’s finest roots musicians will gather together for the Johnny Cash Birthday Bash at 8pm on Saturday. The house band will feature vocalist-drummer Dale Haskell, guitarist John Hoffman and bassist Big Frank Novko with vocalist MotherJudge at the helm. Scheduled guests include Jim Gaudet and Bob Ristau (the Railroad Boys), nine-year-old Cristo Lewis, Ashley Pond, Ramblin Jug Stompers, Tom Benson (Dyer Switch), Tom McWatters (the Sense Offenders), Terry McClain (The Realside), Mike McMann, Rob Skane and maybe a few surprises. Tix are $8 in advance; $10 at the door. For a sneak preview, listen to MotherJudge and McWatters at about 11am UPDATE: 3pm today on WEXT-FM.

And up in Salem, the Fort Salem Theater is hosting its own tribute to the Man in Black with “The Spirit of Johnny Cash” featuring Harold Ford as Cash and Laura Lacy as June Carter. Showtime is 8pm on Saturday.

Photo by Martin Benjamin.

Rosanne Cash, What Was the First Album You Ever Bought?

February 24th, 2010, 1:05 pm by Greg

Rosanne Cash

“I believe my first LP that was all mine was ‘Meet the Beatles.’ It changed my life, and I scratched it to death. Then followed many albums that I asked my parents to buy for me, mostly Beatles.

When we mastered ‘Seven Year Ache,’ it was the first time I had seen a master disc cut on the lathe. We mastered it a few days after John Lennon died, and in the matrix of the mother disc, I scratched, ‘Goodbye, John.’ The first 250,000 copies of that album have the message in the matrix. That was real record-making.

But now that I think about it, the first record that I paid for with my own money was Thunderclap Newman. ‘Something in the Air.’ Remember that one?”

Singer-songwriter Rosanne Cash brings her band to The Egg in Albany at 8pm on Saturday (February 27), in support of her latest album, “The List.” Jenny Scheinman opens the show.

Take It From The Top: Rosanne Cash

June 12th, 2009, 12:25 pm by Greg

rosanne“When I was in acting school I met a girl in my cold-reading class who happened to live in the same apartment building as I did. She had a remarkably voluptuous figure, and she always wore her blond hair in a ponytail on the right side of her head. She favored lipstick in the shade of fluorescent blood. I can’t remember her name now, but I do remember that she once borrowed three dollars from me to buy champagne.”

(Rosanne Cash’s “Acting School” from “Bodies of Water,” 1996)

The Cock'N'Bull RestaurantJim Gaudet and the Railroad BoysCartoonist John CaldwellCaffe LenaHolly & EvanAdvertise on Nippertown!Mohawk Hudson Humane SocietyThe Sanctuary For Independent Media