“I keep thinking of my dad, performing in the room at the back of us,” says Rosanne Cash, a little way into this intimate show. “1981. It’s a strange feeling.”
Tonight, she and her husband, the producer and fine guitarist, John Leventhal, play a set drawing heavily on her recent album The List.
This 2009 album honours her father, Johnny, and a list he gave her of the hundred country songs she should know, like Motherless Children and Long Black Veil.
Tonight’s best cover, though, is a stunning version of the classic that she says should be song 101, Bobbie Gentry’s Ode To Billie Joe.
She also pays tribute to John Hiatt, ‘the master of irony’ with It Hasn’t Happened Yet. Another rare goodie is Never Be You, by Tom Petty and Benmont Tench.
All these covers, great as they are, leave less room to showcase Cash’s own superb songs, which have more of a pop/rock flavour.
She plays several from Black Cadillac, the album that followed the death of her father, mother and stepmother, and gives us a moving September When It Comes, originally a duet with her father.
The show’s highlight is the one audience request, ‘since it’s the first time we’ve played Sheffield’, a sublime Blue Moon With Heartache.
The evening ends with a terrific Seven Year Ache, then it’s back for Dad’s Tennessee Flat Top Box and Hedy West’s 500 Miles.
It’s been quite a night.