Aidin Vaziri | Rosanne Cash doesn’t have fond memories of the South. She was born in Memphis but grew up in California, only going back to visit her father, Johnny Cash, in the late 1960s as he struggled with drug addiction following his divorce from her mother, Vivian Liberto.
When Rosanne did move back to Tennessee to launch her own music career in the 1980s, she quickly became disenchanted with the claustrophobic Nashville scene, with her own marriage to the singer-songwriter Rodney Crowell crumbling under the pressure of becoming a full-blown country star after they had three children together.
Cash, 58, and her current husband, the producer-songwriter-guitarist John Leventhal, have lived in New York for two decades.
But a fortuitous invitation from Arkansas State University to take part in the restoration of the boyhood home of her father in 2008 inspired a series of trips that dramatically changed her perspective. As they spent time exploring Arkansas, Tennessee and Louisiana, they came up with material for Cash’s first album of original material in eight years, “The River & the Thread.”