“Modern Blue” takes Rosanne Cash on a twilit journey across the world of passion before returning to a soft landing in the endlessly evocative American South.
Writing and collaborating again with John Leventhal, Cash has never sounded more utterly free — free of country-industry constraints, free of the expectations that must have dogged her for years as the daughter of a legend. To a degree, that’s the likely result of Cash having unburdened herself with a 2010 memoir. Her happy marriage to Leventhal has also opened up Cash’s emotional pallette.
Cash’s grasp of a writerly moment remains unmatched, but there are new shadings, glimmers of hope that, necessarily, were absent from meditations on her family losses (2006′s Black Cadillac) and difficult divorce (1990′s Interiors).
Instead, “Modern Blue” finds her boldly striding through a very expansive landscape, both musically and narratively — providing an early glimpse perhaps into the triumphs to come on The River and the Thread, due for release via Blue Note Records on January 14, 2014.