In 2003, after a long hiatus from recording, Rosanne Cash released Rules of Travel – a universally acclaimed collection which found her evolution as a songwriter and a singer reach new plateaus. Featuring beautifully sparse production by John Leventhal, Rules marked a powerful return to the scene for Rosanne, and was instantly praised by fans and critics alike.
The disc sported a few guest vocalists: Sheryl Crow, Steve Earle, Teddy Thompson… and, on the stunning “September When It Comes,” Johnny Cash.
“He was in bad health, he got very ill for a while,” Rosanne said at the time. “I was facing my dad’s mortality for the first time. It’s deeply unsettling when you come to that point in your life when your parents suddenly become frail and ill. Of course, I was very affected by it. So I called him—I was going down to Nashville anyway—and I said, ‘Dad, I’m going to bring the tape, and if you’re feeling well enough when I’m down there….’ He said, ‘I can’t promise, but if I feel well enough I will.’ And I could tell that morning he really didn’t feel well, but he said he would do it. So we went over to the little studio he has in the woods.”
As her father learned the song, Rosanne says, his energy started to perk up. “He was getting into doing it,” she recalled, smiling. “And then he was calling for more takes: ‘No, let me try that part again!’ When we finished, I said, ‘Dad, it’s beautiful, you sound great.’”
“It was a very moving experience,” Rosanne says now. “I was actually crying in the studio.” Her dad, of course, later told her, “You know, I really could have done it better.”
Contact & Licensing info: Master controlled by EMI Music Group, http://www.emicapsm.com/contact.aspx
“September When It Comes” written by Rosanne Cash & John Leventhal
Rosanne Cash published by Chelcait Music (BMI), administered by Measurable Music LLC, A Notable Music Co.
John Leventhal published by Lev-A-Tunes (ASCAP)