Rosanne’s Black Cadillac

by | Jan 22, 2006

Alan Light for TNYT: With her characteristic sense of craft and precision, Ms. Cash explores a kaleidoscopic range of experiences related to loss and mortality on “Black Cadillac,” reaching from when her parents first met through her responses to their passing, her anger, her regrets. Sipping tea a few blocks from her home in Chelsea, she described the album as “a map – a geographical map, a spiritual map, an emotional map – and I was just examining the different spots and corners.”

She added that she had been intimidated by tackling this subject matter, and that despite a career nearing 30 years, these songs “felt like a paradigm shift for me as a writer, and as a person.”

“You kind of get transformed when you lose your parents,” she added. “There’s nobody to rebel against, nobody to report to.”

Musically, Ms. Cash has long blurred the line between country, pop and rock, even experimenting with new wave on 1985’s “Rhythm and Romance” before settling into the roots-tinged adult pop sound of her recent work (a style much closer to Mary Chapin Carpenter, Shawn Colvin and even Sheryl Crow than to anything on country radio). “Black Cadillac” flows effortlessly from intimate acoustic moments to bluegrass-inflected songs like “House on the Lake,” mirroring the scope and ambition of the lyrics.

“Rosanne’s writing is perfectly in sync with her life,” said Lyle Lovett, who has toured and recorded with her. “What makes her special as a writer is what makes her special as a person – she’s thoughtful, sensitive, perceptive. She writes about things that are real to her, and that’s why you don’t just listen to her songs, you feel them.”