Rosanne Cash performs from "The River and the Thread"

01.30.14
Rosanne Cash
"Q" with Jian Ghomeshi (CBC Radio)

Grammy-winning country-rock singer/songwriter Rosanne Cash returns to Q to perform live from her 13th record The River & The Thread.

The album, which features her first original material in eight years, was partly inspired by trying to restore the childhood home of her father Johnny Cash and her ensuing journey through the American south. Cash is in her prime: balancing mature storytelling with a broad musical palette that encompasses country, folk, blues, gospel, rock and more.

Learning to love the thread

The River & The Thread is in many ways about her complex relationship with the south, a place that prior to this album she says she had pushed away and felt suffocated by. Even the album's title can be traced back to her roots in the south.

"I made a very dear friend in Florence, Alabama, and I started going down to visit her," Cash recalls. "She taught me to sew, and one day in her studio she said, 'You know, you have to love the thread.' She wasn't speaking metaphorically, but a chill went over me."

"This was kind of a vague idea, but then John [Leventhal] conceptualized it. He said, 'We could write an album about the south, about these things.'"

Listen to the interview and watch Rosanne Cash perform "The Long Way Home" with her husband and collaborator, John Leventhal.