Roseanne Cash

Black Cadillac

Roseanne Cash’s latest, Black Cadillac, is mature work by a mature artist, and in a word once commonly used by people her age, it’s heavy. It’s heavy with the weight of loss, and heavy with the courage of a strong and sensitive woman looking at life straight on. Over a brief two-year period, Roseanne Cash lost her father, music legend Johnny Cash; her stepmother, country maven June Carter Cash; and her mother, Vivian Cash-Distin. From all of that loss, she redeems much in this cycle of songs, and since loss is inevitable for all, the sharing of what she redeems is a grace note. One of the songs in particular makes the album worth buying. “I Was Watching You” shapes itself around the idea that the yet-to-be-born Roseanne watched from somewhere in the cosmos as her parents came together to bring her into the world, and that now, a lifetime later, her departed father watches her from beyond. It may sound schmaltzy in print, but it doesn’t strike the ear that way. It is a brilliantly realized conceit, and anyone who hears it without being moved probably isn’t really listening.