Rosanne Cash

Black Cadillac (Capitol)

SXSW Records

Rosanne Cash

Black Cadillac (Capitol)

In the two years that followed the release of Rosanne Cash's last album, 2003's Rules of Travel, she lost her father, Johnny; her stepmother, June Carter Cash; and her mother, Vivian Liberto Cash Distin. That the music on Black Cadillac deals with these events and the effect they had on her is no surprise. Cash has long been one of America's most pensive singer-songwriters, and her trying times make for prime subject material. Here she journeys through anger, joy, grief, love, pain, and resolve with lyricism that's judicious and free. What's unexpected is the range of sound Cash employs to expose such deeply personal sentiment. Bill Bottrell and John Leventhal split production credits and they devise inventive frameworks, at times scanty, at others atmospheric, that bare the marks of the Carter Family ("House on the Lake"), the Man in Black (the title track), or no one at all ("Radio Operator"). Although there are occasional fragments of Johnny's voice, Black Cadillac never becomes overly sentimental. It's dark, poetic, elegant, and redemptive, and it's successful because of Cash's extraordinary ability to summon her emotions in ways that touch the universal soul. (Friday, March 17, 8pm @ Town Lake at Auditorium Shores)

***.5

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