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Music review: Rosanne Cash is a phoenix in “A Feather is Not a Bird

An eight-year hiatus from album releases has made Cash’s emergence with her new album The River & The Thread a memorable one. Ridden with reflection, fans will be pleased with her latest work that rides on the heels of her trials.

Rosanne Cash

Though it’s fair to assume this star has been wise for some time, Johnny Cash‘s daughter is definitely all grown up.

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Purportedly catapulted into a series of contemplative thoughts and emotions after undertaking renovations of her father’s childhood home, with this album Cash closes the cycle of pain and loss that tagged along with her while she was on the road composing The River & The Thread. Though “Etta’s Tune” and the epic “When the Master Calls the Roll” are arguably the best tracks of the album, it’s “A Feather is Not a Bird” that inspired the title of the entire album, and subsequently caught my attention.

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The opening line of the song gives listeners a peek into Cash’s thought processes; the album is about her journey, our own journeys — and how such journeys are not dictated by the events or elements, but by how we choose to let those events and elements affect us. While going through tragedy, Cash maximized not only her potential, but her value in the industry with the release of this track and the album overall. She’s enlightened and she’s unstoppable.

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The sound of “A Feather is Not a Bird” embodies a remarkable quality that the entire track list has: it’s as though her cross-Southern journey absorbed all the music of the South and captured it in one album. It has texture. You’ll hear a bit of blues, gospel and folk to name a few. The 11 tracks were written with her partner in life and in music, husband John Leventhal. Of the album Cash has said, “If I never make another album, I will be content, because I made this one.” That’s a hefty incentive to listen, right? Listen to the song that started a masterpiece, and leave a comment below on your thoughts.

Photo credit: Joseph Marzullo/

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