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Exclusive Fanfare Cincinnati Interview with Rosanne Cash

Best Americana Album 2015 Grammy Award Winner


Rosanne Cash released one of the most critically acclaimed albums of 2014.

Named one of NPR’s top 10 folk albums of the year and nominated for three Grammy Awards, The River & The Thread was inspired by a trip to the American South. The album’s unique sound, which draws from country, blues, gospel, and rock, reflects the soulful mix of music that traces its history to the region.

Fanfare Cincinnati: What prompted you to say “yes” to doing the “American Originals” project with the Cincinnati Pops?
Rosanne Cash: I love Stephen Foster, I love working with orchestras, and I love the other artists on the program!

FC: How has the music of Stephen Foster shaped the American musical landscape? Has preparing for “American Originals” impacted your own music-making as one of the foremost artists in American folk music today?

RC: I think Stephen Foster is an enormously important figure in the canon of American music. ‘Hard Times’ alone is worth a whole genre! I think I draw inspiration from Foster in a very long and slightly convoluted line, but tracing things back to him makes sense to me.

FC: Have you performed and/or recorded with a full orchestra live before? What are you most looking forward to about this performance and recording with the Pops?

RC: I performed with the Minnesota orchestra in 2012. I’m looking forward to the sheer excitement of performing with the orchestra, and the thrill of working with so many musicians at once: the subtlety, the elegance, the precision and synergy. There is really nothing like it.

FC: What other projects are on the horizon for you?

RC: Two projects are still under wraps, very different from my usual work, and will be announced in the coming months.