Rosanne Cash, daughter of legendary country artist Johnny Cash, is to appear at 7:30 p.m. April 21 at The Ritz Theatre in Tiffin. The singer, composer and author has a Grammy and 11 No. 1 singles to her name.
"Most of the dates this year are just duos with John and I," Cash said, referring to her husband, John Leventhak. "We've actually been playing a lot of these renovated theaters, and they're all so beautiful and the sound is great, so we look forward to that."
The pair has been married since 1995. Leventhal is a musician as well as producer and arranger of Cash's latest album, "The List," released in 2009. Leventhal also can be heard playing multiple instruments on each track of the CD.
Cash's daughter, Chelsea Crowell, sings harmony on "500 Miles," and the album also features special guests Bruce Springsteen, Elvis Costello, Jeff Tweedy and Rufus Wainwright.
Although none of these vocalists are to share The Ritz stage with Cash, Leventhal plans to fill in their harmonies.
The concert is to include several selections from "The List," which takes its title from a day in 1973 when Rosanne, then 18, was touring and performing with her late father's band.
Johnny Cash compiled "100 Essential Country Songs" and handed the list to his daughter to broaden her country music background. Eventually, she learned all the songs, but she filed the original, written in her father's hand on a yellow legal pad, for future reference.
"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."
Cash went on to establish herself as a songwriter and singer in her own right. Her career experienced a major boost in 1985 with a Grammy Award for "I Don't Know Why You Don't Want Me." Following that, she released "Seven Year Ache" and "Interiors" to critical acclaim.
A setback came in 1998 when Cash developed polyps on her vocal chords. The only option was to rest her voice.
"The polyps were more mundane in some ways, but it's character-building to learn not to talk for five weeks," Cash said.
By 2003, Cash had recovered and recorded "Rules of Travel." That same year, her father and her stepmother, June Carter Cash, died. In 2005, Rosanne's mother, Vivian Liberto, also died.
The grief and losses were reflected in Cash's 2006 CD, "Black Cadillac." She toured extensively to promote the album, but her father's list remained in the back of her mind.
"When I was writing the narratives for the 'Black Cadillac' show, I had recently found the list again, so I wrote about it. And virtually every show, people started asking me. 'Where's the list? What about that list?'" Cash said.
While touring in Europe, she added a few songs from the list to her set.
She said the intensity of the audiences' response surprised her and inspired her to record covers of some of those compositions. She describes them as "a cultural legacy" ... "as important as the Civil War to who we are as Americans."
Before she could make any headway on "The List," Cash had to undergo surgery for a non-malignant brain condition. Once she was back on her feet, she and Leventhal narrowed the songs she wanted to do for CD.
They listened to numerous other versions of the chosen songs to come up with arrangements that would honor the composers and previous performers while creating their own interpretations.
"Something as serious as my brain condition and the surgery does fundamentally change you, or if it doesn't, it returns you to more of your own authenticity," she said. "I realize life is short and there was a lot to lose in not doing exactly what I wanted to do in my life and being exactly who I was."
A second volume of "The List" has been added to her to-do list, she said, but "Composed: A Memoir" was completed and published in 2010.
She said writing her story was therapeutic and educational.
"I guess I learned about how my own mind works a little bit more - how I perceive time, what things were still unresolved in me, which patterns kept repeating in my life. In that way, it was really a fascinating process," Cash said.