Roseanne Cash

The List

It’s a cover album; get over it. (Dooley Wilson’s take on “As Time Goes By” in Casablanca is a cover and that turned out pretty good, huh?) Judge Rosanne Cash’s take on classic country songs on its own merit and it turns out to be a pretty good album. The 12 tracks here stem from a list of 100 essential country songs that Roseanne’s father, Johnny Cash, gave to her on her 18th birthday. Rooted in the love and pain of the working class, these songs require a sense of longing to make them poignant and not cliché to today’s ears. Cash never slips into trite feelings but occasionally the sound is more like a $5 latte than a pot of black joe. “Miss the Mississippi and You” doesn’t quite make us miss the song that everyone from Bob Dylan to Emmylou Harris has covered—let alone Mississippi—but Cash hits other tunes out of the park: The haunting and mournful classic folk tune “500 Miles” and the Carter family’s “Bury Me Under the Weeping Willow” deserve to be placed alongside a bottle of whiskey under a balmy Southern sunset. Overall, there’s enough gritty desire to rouse an interest in her take on the other 88 songs on the list.