Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Rosanne Cash blogs herself and the gates

I played Lincoln Center's new and beautiful Allen room on February 10th,
and it was the last show of a tour that has sputtered along since
January 2003. Two years of shows in support of 'Rules of Travel', and it
ended on a pinnacle. By the time of the Allen Room show, the focus had
shifted from ROT to the new record I am making now, "Black Cadillac",
and the band was in incredible form. My taller half, Mr. L, had broken
his finger just before the Jamaica Jazz and Blues Festival last month,
so we were a mite concerned that he could play at all. Turns out, if he
had broken three more fingers, we would have been about even as guitar
players. He played phenomenally, creating new voicings of chords on the
spot, minus that left ring-finger. Adam Levy, from Norah Jones' Handsome
Band, graciously joined us to assist Mr. L in areas of chordal concern,
and he was a delight to work with. The band was filled out by regulars
Shawn Pelton, Zev Katz, Brian Mitchell and Catherine Russell, and I just
feel privileged to work with such a stellar group of musicians.
What a relief. I feel dizzy with the satisfaction of completing such a
rigorous schedule, and now my focus turns completely to the record. I am
about halfway there, and, given Capitol's need for a five-month lead
time before release, I would imagine this record will be in stores in
September. It's a good time for it. It's more of an autumn record,
topically. Not your summer feel-good type of thing.

I really enjoyed 'The Gates' in Central Park last month. The first day I
saw it, which was the day after the installation, it was gorgeous. It
was a beautiful, sunny and cold day, and the light through the 'saffron'
fabric (they looked orange to me, but let's not quibble) was just
fantastic. A few days later, on a dismal, drizzling day, the Gates
looked... not so great. Like laundry, or a construction site. Then, a
few days after that, I picked my son up at school, and the taxi went
through the park going home. It was just spectacular. The light caught
the orange fabric in a million different ways, and it was like driving
through a heightened dream of color. It was really exciting. Everyone
had an opinion about it, or a question; is it really art? What is the
meaning? I didn't really care. I enjoyed it--or not--on a visceral
level, and that was enough. And I loved the very temporal nature of
it--16 days, that's it. It gave it an intensity and focus that added to
it tremendously. My friends Gael and Stephen Doyle had a small dinner
party in honor of The Gates, and the saffron was flowing freely. It was
just great. I love being alive in New York at this particular moment. If
it would only get above freezing for a few minutes.