The name Rosanne Cash is no doubt a familiar one to Austin City Limits audiences. She has appeared on the show seven previous times, showcasing her talents as a country star and respected singer/songwriter with a voice that “pierces to the emotional heart” (Los Angeles Times).
While her presence in studio 6A is not unusual, the project she’s bringing to the stage is. When she was 18, her father Johnny made her a list of what he considered to be 100 essential songs any country singer should know. Decades later, Cash has recorded 12 of them, paying tribute to her roots and her late father.
“I think he was alarmed that I might miss something essential about who he was and who I was,” Cash said. “He had a deeply intuitive understanding and overview of every critical juncture in Southern music-Appalachian songs, early folk songs, Delta blues, Southern gospel, right up to modern country music.”
The List is more than a collection of classics, it is also a showcase for Cash’s powerful singing abilities. Billboard wrote, “Cash not only infuses love into her delivery on the collection but also proves herself a supreme song stylist.” “Although meant to honor father Johnny’s musical tastes, The List better serves as an exquisite reminder of Rosanne’s own history of artistic rebelliousness,” wrote Paste.
Cash said that while she hadn’t fully explored this priceless gift of 100 songs from a father to a daughter, the songs on The List had always been important to her own work. “It’s not like I didn’t know these songs before,” she said, “so their standard of excellence has been in the back of my mind all along. That standard is something I’m always trying to reach.”