January 25, 2021

Summer Sounds from CM: The List


The List
by Roseanne Cash, 2009

320px-Rosanne_Cash_The_List_album_coverWhen Roseanne Cash was a teenager, she was on tour with her father, Johnny Cash. One day as they were talking about songs, he realized that she did not know some of the songs that he considered essential for any singer-songwriter to know. So, he gave her a list of what he thought were 100 essential country songs.

She tucked it away in a box and found it later, when she was mature enough to realize its value. When she had come to the point in her career when she was ready to claim her family legacy and make an album representing her place in it, it was a natural step to choose some songs from “the list” and perform them.

The result is one of my favorite covers albums of all time.

The video below is from an appearance on Austin City Limits. That’s Roseanne’s husband, John Leventhal, on acoustic guitar and background vocals. On the album, Bruce Springsteen sings the back-up parts.

I could listen to this album every day and never get tired of it.


  1. Thanks for this, CM.

    500 Miles is a great song. I prefer the Journeyman’s version, but hers seems especially well done also. The song speaks for itself.

  2. Dan Crawford says

    Heard Roseanne sing some of these songs at a summer park concert in Pittsburgh. Great singing, great show. More than 3000 sat on the grass listening to her and her band.

  3. Keith Clark says

    I remember the Don Gibson version best.

  4. Isaac (or possibly Obed) says

    Oh, I’m really diggin’ that band setup! Love the subtle accents from the Telecaster guy. That’s the way that I like to run my Tele when the band gets a little bit country.

  5. Austin City Limits has got to be one of the best programs on television. They consistently bring in the greatest acts from a diversity of genres, but always quite pleasing to the ear.

  6. I love Roseanne Cash’s voice.

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