Following a sold-out Free at Noon in November, Rosanne Cash‘s next Philadelphia “appearance” will be in the form of a World Cafe session airing this Friday, January 10th on XPN. The legendary musician is releasing The River & The Thread next week, and NPR Music is joining in the fun by featuring the LP on First Listen. From NPR’s Ann Powers:
Each song is rooted in the Southern soil connecting the old Cash homestead in Arkansas to the family’s ancestral Virginia homeland, expanding to survey the family’s artistic roots in Alabama and Tennessee. Some narratives are fictional, while others mine family lore. Each unfolds in a subtle arc made three-dimensional by Cash’s introspective lyrics and the genre-dissolving blend of country, soul and torch songs that she and her husband and producer, John Leventhal, cultivate.
Stream The River & The Threadhere and tune in to XPN on your radio or online this Friday at 2:00 p.m. EST to hear Rosanne Cash discuss the record with host David Dye.
The Black Friday blues were washed away by a glorious performance by Rosanne Cash at World Café Live’s Free at Noon show. Performing a set of songs that heavily drew from her forthcoming release The River & The Thread, Cash and her band – featuring her husband John Leventhal on guitars – made an early argument for best record of next year. Beginning with Cash beautifully unwinding the tale of “A Feather’s Not a Bird” on vocals and continuing through to the rocker “Modern Blue,” which has gained plenty live with a full band since her last stellar Pennsylvania performance as a duo at Sellersville Theater in August, the first four songs of the album were quite stunning. The new material complemented works like Bob Dylan’s “Girl from the North Country,” from Cash’s album The List, quite well. And the post-broadcast encore of one of Cash’s early classics, “Seven Year Ache,” complete with singing help from a fan in the crowd, brought the show to a memorable close. Check out the setlist and look through a gallery of photos from the show below, and listen to the entire performance here (via the WXPN media player).
Of the 450-plus Free At Noon concerts we’ve had at XPN over the last decade, rarely – if ever – has a member of the audience been asked to come on stage to sing or dance or play a drum with a band. But Rosanne Cash changed that when she asked XPN member Joanne Margolis to join her on stage during Rosanne’s Free At Noon performance to sing “Seven Year Ache.” Below is Joanne’s story about it:
I love to sing, and I sing every chance I have the opportunity. I usually sing Karaoke at a local bar in my neighborhood on Friday evenings. One of my favorite artists has always been Rosanne Cash, and particularly her song “Seven Year Ache.” I won a Karaoke contest singing that song.
When I just recently renewed my membership to WXPN, I had asked the membership assistant if she would be so kind to put my name on the list of the sold out Free At Noon with Rosanne Cash. Not only did she do that, but I received my new membership card within 72 hours. When I heard Roseanne warming up before her set, I thought – gosh wouldn’t it be great if I asked her to sing “Seven Year Ache,” and then having her ask me to song it with her. Well! Today that wish came true. During her encore, she said that she had a request for that song (I had asked her to sing it) then she and I started talking and I told her that I sing it at Karaoke and actually won a contest singing that song!!
She asked me how much – which I replied $500 – and she invited me on stage to sing it with her!! I was in a state of shock!!! Great things come to those who support a great radio station!! If it weren’t for XPN and Free At Noon none of this would have been possible. As (XPN’s) Helen Leicht said after I stepped down from the stage “What a moment!” All I can say is it certainly was.
Below, watch a clip of Joanne and Rosanne singing “Seven Year Ache,” via YouTube user Donald Groff.
Last night in the intimate confines of the Sellersville Theater, Rosanne Cash wowed the sold-out audience with her voice, guitar, sideman/producer/husband John Leventhal, and overall music gusto. Relying heavily on her 2009 covers album The List, Cash wound through country past with ease and brilliance, especially in her towering renditions of “Motherless Children” and Bobbie Gentry’s “Ode to Billy Joe.” There were moments of humor interlaced with the weighty topics of her oeuvre, like when Cash and Leventhal commented on a setlist in the Sellersville dressing room from group Vanilla Fudge that lacked their signature song “You Keep Me Hangin’ On.” This came up enough that Cash had a go at the chorus of the song a few times, despite forgetting the majority of the lyrics. Beyond memorable humor there was also the unveiling of three songs from her forthcoming 2014 album. All three were tremendous works of rock and country, with “Modern Blue” and “Sunken Lands,” which featured a remembrance of Cash’s father and grandparents, being the standouts. Philly local artist Kwesi Kankam opened the show; check out photos from the night in the gallery below.
All this week, the annual Beta Hi-Fi competition has showcased a variety of new, local bands at World Cafe Live. The shows have been a great way to get to know emerging artists in the region and tonight marks the final set of performances for the week. The groups were chosen by the audience’s votes, so all your favorites will be on stage tonight. The show starts at 7 and best of all (besides the great new music) is that it’s free. Click here for more information about the show.