Posts Tagged ‘Johnny Cash’

“Where’s the madness, Rose?”

April 7th, 2010 No comments

It’s easy to forget how good music can be until you hear it live. Last night, an unusually warm April night, I heard something unforgettable: Rosanne Cash performing at the New College Theatre. She sang and played, talked about being an artist and a mom, and took questions. The event was presented by OFA’s Learning From Performers and Harvard College American Music Association.

“I became a songwriter at 18 and spent the first 4 years writing bad songs,” Cash said.  Then, one of her teachers listened to her songs, said they were good but also asked: “Where’s the madness, Rose?” It taught her to get to telling the story. For her there is an urgency to tell stories and a love of language that keeps pushing her on.

Cash went on the road her father Johnny Cash when she was 18. Because she knew only rock music, he made her a list of the 100 most important country songs. “A template for excellence,” she said. Her most recent album “The List” covers a dozen songs from that list.

Cash spoke of a mentor who told her: “God tells us different things and hopes we talk to each other.” And this is why I am writing this piece.

The video doesn’t capture the beauty and power of her performance – you should see her live. But if you can’t, here are three songs: “Girl from the North Country” written by Bob Dylan; “Bury Me under the Weeping Willow” written by the Carter Family; and “Seven Year Ache” written by Rosanne Cash.

Also: Crimson Article