musings on music, travel, books, and life from Southeast Asia

Rosanne Cash Returns!

My worship of Rosanne Cash began in 1980 when I heard her debut album, Right or Wrong. I was working at a branch of Record Mart in Orlando, Florida at the time and we had a promo vinyl copy of that album that I played every day. I was totally smitten and have since bought every album that she’s recorded. I cherish them all. Last month she released her long-awaited new album, The River and the Thread. This one is another jewel. I need to give it more time to digest, and time to reflect, before offering a final judgment, but this could be her finest work yet. And that’s saying something!


On the new album Rosanne’s voice sounds as effortlessly warm and comforting as ever, the lyrics are poetic and moving, and her astute song choices, mostly originals plus a couple of “bonus” covers (including Jesse Winchester’s classic “Biloxi”) are once again brilliant. This woman takes her time between albums, never content to churn out “product” on an annual basis. The quality and craft that goes into every album, this one included, is always impressive. Being the daughter of the legendary Johnny Cash must have felt like a huge burden at times, but Rosanne has courageously forged her own career path, never watering-down her music or trying to be something she’s not. It’s difficult to categorize her music, and I like that about her. You can’t pigeonhole her as “country” any more than you call her “folk” or “pop.” She has that unique ability to both straddle and transcend specific musical genres. No matter how you want to label her music, Rosanne Cash continues to be one of America’s greatest musical treasures. For those of us that still enjoy the thrill of “real” packaging, as opposed to sterile downloads, the deluxe version of the new CD comes with a beautiful 36-page booklet that contains song lyrics, photos, and comments from Rosanne about the new project. Well done!


Meanwhile, here are a few other marvelous CDs keeping me company during Bangkok’s recent turbulent days of political protests and “mob” mentality:


Jaco Pastorius – Punk Jazz: The Anthology

Jules Shear – Longer to Get to Yesterday

Various Artists – Soul in Harmony: Vocal Groups 1965-1977

Change – Greatest Hits & Essential Tracks

Aimee Mann – @#%&! Smilers


Two Things In One – Together Forever: The Music City Sessions

Cut Copy – Free Your Mind

Tommy Keene – Excitement At Your Feet: The Covers Album

Various Artists – Eccentric Soul: The Forte Label

Brendan Benson – You Were Right


Various Artists – King Northern Soul Vol. 3

Tim O’Brien & Darrell Scott – We’re Usually a Lot Better Than This

Brass Construction – Movin’ & Changin’

Hank Mobley – Workout

Babyface Willett – Mo Rock


George Jackson – Old Friend: The Fame Recordings Vol. 3

Merry Clayton – The Best Of

Gram Parsons – The Complete Reprise Sessions

Chumbawamba – Readymade

Peter Green – In the Skies


Charles Wright & The Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band – Live at the Haunted House

Terry Edwards – Cliches

Andrew Bird – Hands of Glory

Van Morrison – Common One

Bread Love and Dreams – Bread Love and Dreams 


Nils Lofgren – Acoustic Live

Guided By Voices – The Bears For Lunch

O.M.D. – History of Modern

Fitz and the Tantrums – Pickin’ Up the Pieces

Gene Ammons and Sonny Stitt – Soul Summit


Skids – Sweet Suburbia: The Best Of

The Bongos – Phantom Train

Mikal Cronin – MCII

Dead Boys – We Have Come for Your Children

Pete Donnelly – Face the Bird


Various Artists – The Divas From Mali

Prince Phillip Mitchell – Make It Good

J.J. Jackson – The Great J.J. Jackson

Antena – Camino Del Sol

Camera Obscura – Desire Lines

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