Always Been There: Rosanne Cash, "The List", and the Spirit by Michael Streissguth

By Michael Streissguth

In 1973, Rosanne Cash’s father gave her a listing of a hundred songs, many from the Southern culture, that he felt a tender musician needed to be aware of. Always Been There tells the interior tale of the album that, greater than thirty-five years later, resulted from “the list.”

Based on unique interviews performed within the studio, at domestic in ny urban, and on travel in Europe, Always Been There records a pivotal episode in Rosanne Cash’s lengthy and engaging profession. As she, besides manufacturer and husband John Leventhal, painstakingly reconstructs what songs made “the record” and why, we achieve an unrivaled knowing of an extended musican continuium that comes with the Carter relatives and different fabled names of the Southern pantheon and their impression on her track and writing. We additionally see how Leventhal’s skills as an arranger and musician pair with Rosanne’s looking vocal performances to make those outdated songs new again.

Always Been There tracks Rosanne Cash’s singular and storied profession from her early advertisement hits with albums like King’s checklist Shop via her debatable cut up with Nashville culture on albums just like the mercurial Interiors to the chic Black Cadillac. It paints an unforgettable portrait of Rosanne confronting music-making within the aftermath of significant mind surgical procedure, her lifelong look for her legacy, and her special artistic partnerships.

 

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Additional info for Always Been There: Rosanne Cash, "The List", and the Spirit of Southern Music

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Confoundingly, Rosanne scored just one more top hit after King’s Record Shop before spinning into a commercial limbo in the early 1990s. Most would probably say that there was nothing confounding about the slide. By the early 1990s, her increasingly complex songwriting and her determination to let musical and maternal impulses rather than marketing demands dictate her path had driven a wedge between her and Nashville. If Rodney Crowell had colored her work with commercial sensibility up to that point, he was no longer around to lend his sound.

On the way I confess that when I first heard Rosanne say “cover album” back before her surgery, Linda Ronstadt’s Lush Life came to mind. ” That reminds me that Dave Brubeck’s saxophonist Paul Desmond used to slip into “Don’t Fence Me In” onstage whenever Brubeck, a rancher’s son, strayed off beat. Picking up the beat, Leventhal offers that Desmond remains one of his favorite jazz musicians, one of the great melodic instrumentalists and a serious student whose New York apartment was lined with books.

Certainly, Rosanne has in recent years rarely recorded such direct lyrics. “Sweet Memories” is a simple, wistful visit to the past that clashes with the complicated introspection of Rosanne’s songwriting. But I guess that John is referring to Rosanne’s vocal performance on the recording. If they follow even a semblance of Willie’s original arrangement, Rosanne’s voice will be forced to registers where she seldom treads. It’s a task that Willie got as easily as one of his golf swings, but Rosanne’s piercing lyrics often do the heavy lifting, saving her the chore of stretching her vocal boundaries.

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