by Roseanne Cash, 2009
When Roseanne Cash was a teenager, she was on tour with her father, Johnny Cash. One day as they were talking about songs, he realized that she did not know some of the songs that he considered essential for any singer-songwriter to know. So, he gave her a list of what he thought were 100 essential country songs.
She tucked it away in a box and found it later, when she was mature enough to realize its value. When she had come to the point in her career when she was ready to claim her family legacy and make an album representing her place in it, it was a natural step to choose some songs from “the list” and perform them.
The result is one of my favorite covers albums of all time.
The video below is from an appearance on Austin City Limits. That’s Roseanne’s husband, John Leventhal, on acoustic guitar and background vocals. On the album, Bruce Springsteen sings the back-up parts.
I could listen to this album every day and never get tired of it.