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As a singer and songwriter, Rosanne Cash doesn’t need a reason to be on the road, and yet for months she had two.
Still racing through cities plugging her memoir, “Composed,” and her latest album, “The List,” the New Yorker was back in town Wednesday night long enough to field a few questions. At 55, Cash, a 10-time Grammy nominee and one-time winner, has music credentials beyond her famous father Johnny. The once-divorced-and-since-remarried Cash didn’t even let brain surgery, which she had in 2007, stop her from having her say. The dark-haired mother of five is also a fashion follower prone to scoring Victorian clothing via 1stdibs.com.
This story first appeared in the October 22, 2010 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
WWD: What’s next?
Rosanne Cash: My next project will be a trio with Billy Bragg and Joe Henry. We did the Century of Song festival in Europe together where Joe was the curator. It was the first time I had met Billy. There was this beautiful chemistry and blend of our voices. It was really high energy and we all decided we had to work together again. That was two years ago and we’re just getting around to it.
WWD: Given your schedule, is it difficult to always be speaking about your life in such a public way?
R.C.: There’s a poetic narrative to the story of my life that is structured around song, so that’s very comfortable.
WWD: What would people be surprised to learn about your father?
R.C.: What a good father he was. He gave up touring in the summers during a pivotal time in my life to teach us how to water ski, to make ice cream and to take us for Jeep rides.
WWD: Are you interested in fashion and design?
R.C.: I love Dries [Van Noten]. I love the humor in his line, but it also has kind of classic silhouettes, which I like. And the fabrics are gorgeous. Commes des Garçons is one of my favorites. I’ve been wearing Commes des Garçons since the Eighties. I live on 22nd Street near the store, which is very dangerous.…And the woman who helped Betsey Johnson start her business [Chantal Bacon] is my neighbor, and one of my closest friends.
WWD: Has art become too commercialized?
R.C.: As much as everything else has? Yes. I think with art, as with music, fashion or whatever, the core will be visionary, which radiates from within and the peripheral part is where the commercialization comes in.
WWD: What would you like people to learn from your music?
R.C.: I don’t put myself in that position. If they want to bring their lives into my music, that’s great. But I don’t pretend to tell people what they should know.”