Sarah Graham, Chattanooga, Tenn. – Few musicians can claim a career as long, illustrious and varied as Rosanne Cash.
Cash, who is the daughter of Johnny Cash and his first wife, has released 14 albums since 1978, many to chart-topping critical acclaim.
However, when asked how she receives the inspiration to consistently create well-received content, Cash laughed and said, “If I knew where inspiration came from, I would bottle it and keep it to myself.”
She explained that a lot of inspiration, to her, was discipline.
“You have to keep listening and keep being a part of the world.,” Cash said. “Being a singer and a songwriter isn’t something you do, it’s something you are.”
Being disciplined doesn’t mean narrow-minded, however, which is evident in Cash’s genre-crossing music, which combines Americana with rock, folk, blues and even pop.
“I think it comes from the dysfunction of my influences, of listening to The Beatles, Janis Joplin and Elton John while at the same time listening to my father. His music wasn’t just country, it was country mixed with folk, rockabilly, some of everything really,” said Cash. “All of this meant I never grew up seeing music as sort of separate religious entities, you know, where you have to pick just one, rather its this kind of cross pollination where everything influences everything else.”
This desire to never focus on just one thing extends beyond Cash’s music career as well.
To date, she has written four books and has had various articles in esteemed publications such as The New York Times, Rolling Stone and The Oxford American. Cash also appears as a guest lecturer at several universities and works with charities that focus on gun violence and children.
“Literature, teaching, advocating for anti-gun violence and for artist rights and working with children are all things I’m passionate about so I found ways to be involved with them while still writing songs and performing, allowing me to connect with people in multiple ways,” said Cash of her various involvements.
Cash expressed her gratitude toward audiences for allowing her to do what she loves and still make a living, for continuing acknowledgement and recognition she receives at this point of her career and for the opportunities to experience new things.
One such new experience is performing here in Chattanooga, which Cash mentioned she had always wanted to and now got the chance after being invited to participate in the Patten Performance Series here on campus.
The show will feature songs from Cash’s latest album, The River and the Thread, as well as hits from throughout her work.
However, despite the fact that Cash’s songs regularly make the Top Country charts, audience goers are cautioned to not expect a country show.
Rather, it will be a deeper and broader expanse of Americana roots music that fits an intimate setting.
Rosanne Cash will be performing on Friday, Sept.16, at 7:30 p.m. in the Fine Arts Center. Tickets are available now.