Rosanne Cash | The List

Manhattan (2009)
By JEFF TAMARKIN  |  September 28, 2009
3.5 3.5 Stars

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In 1973, when she was an 18-year-old rock fan, Rosanne Cash's dad gave her a list of songs he felt she should know — mostly country, all falling under the current banner Americana. She held onto that list, and now she's recorded a dozen tunes from it.

You can't go wrong with "Long Black Veil" (cut here with Wilco's Jeff Tweedy), Hank Snow's "I'm Movin' On," or Dylan's "Girl from the North Country" (the elder Cash's duet with Zimmy is definitive; Rosanne's solo version is sweet and plaintive). With Rosanne's husband, John Leventhal, producing, The List is a mostly unadorned affair, the arrangements kept simple and her voice high in the mix.

Marquee guests — Springsteen for "Sea of Heartbreak," Elvis C. for "Heartaches by the Number," Rufus Wainwright for an orchestrated but bluesy take on Merle Haggard's "Silver Wings" — do what they're supposed to, accompany without dominating. Given the heavy nod to the pioneers — the Carter Family, Hank Williams, Jimmie Rodgers — it's not difficult to imagine Johnny Cash jotting down the tunes that now make up The List in the back of the tour bus. He'd be proud of what his little girl's done with that sheet of paper.

Related: Photos: Bonnaroo 2009, Review: ''Backstage Pass'' at the PMA, Review: Megafaun | Heretofore, More more >
  Topics: CD Reviews , Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Johnny Cash,  More more >
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