Normally, I don’t follow the Grammys (Grammies? Grammys just looks wrong). Most of the time, the nominees are people who I don’t really know or care about, although I do have to admit I felt a certain amount of satisfaction when Esperanza Spaulding beat out Justin Bieber and Drake for Best New Artist, hopefully she won’t fall victim to the Paula Cole/Shelby Lynne/Milli Vanilli curse.
This year, I was pleasantly surprised with three nominations, and subsequent wins for The River and the Thread, the latest from Rosanne Cash. I do not buy many CDs, what with YouTube and Pandora, but I bought The River and the Thread last year, and had it in my CD player for about a year, just playing on repeat,and I never got tired of it.
My love for Rosanne Cash started my junior year of college at UMass Amherst. My birthday is in October, and having just arrived at school a month earlier, I didn’t have many friends, but I wanted to do something special for my birthday, just for me. So I looked around for something to do, and on the website for the university’s concert series, it just so happened that Rosanne Cash was performing on campus as one of the final stops on her Black Cadillac tour, a short walk from where I lived, so I decided to check it out. I invited some friends, however it ended up being just me, but that was okay.
As soon as the lights dimmed, I knew I was going to have a surreal experience. The stage’s backdrop was a projection of roses shimmering on a black background. Rosanne Cash’s disembodied voice reverberated throughout the theater, explaining the reason for the creation of this album, as a tribute to her late mother Vivian Cash Liberto; her late stepmother June Carter Cash, and her late, great father, Johnny Cash.
She came onstage in a black and silver tunic, looking elegant, but every bit a rock star. She performed the songs from the album beautifully, as well as a few others, like Bobbie Gentry’s “Ode to Billie Joe,” which she did a great justice too. In between sets, she engaged in banter with the front of the audience, updating them on the Red Sox score, because at the same time, the Sox were in the qualifying stages of the World Series (which they won that year). Much of the audience had gone when she came back out and did an extra encore, a rendition of “The Wheel” that was so on point. It was chilly outside, but her rich and soulful voice warmed me up like a good cup of coffee or bowl of vegetable soup.
Shortly after that, she went in the hospital for brain tumor surgery. I hoped and prayed she would survive, and she did, continuing to sing and make records, and now, she’s won three more Grammys. Good on you, Grammy Award Committee, for getting it right. Rosanne Cash is one of the great voices of America and I hope she’s around for a good long time to come. If you don’t know her music, look it up now.
Also, I’ve been struggling to get a good, new look for my blog. Thanks to Canva.com, I made a fun header graphic, but I feel like the background could use a little spice or something. I just want to make it jazzy, make it a little more me. Any thoughts would be much appreciated 🙂