"Sorry it took me so long to get here," Rosanne Cash apologized to the audience at Tipitina's, where she performed for the first time Sunday night, December 16.
"But," she promised, "it's not gonna be 30 years before I come back."
Odds are, the enthusiasm of the crowd at Tip's, played a role in the Grammy-winning singer-songwriter's resolve to return. Cash's emotional and trenchant Americana songs are the sort that inspire a passionate feeling of connection in listeners, and certainly many such fervent fans were Uptown Sunday night. It was not the kind of crowd that drinks, talks and socializes, with the music as backdrop; it was the kind that taps and shushes each other to make sure nobody misses a single word or note. If you arrived even ten minutes or so after 8 p.m., when the doors opened, you would have been out of luck in terms of prime viewing spots; thirty or forty fans were already there, clustered at the front of the stage.
Ms. Cash's nearly two-hour set simmered along, as she sang slow-burning versions of original songs spanning her career -- "Radio Operator," and "The World Unseen," from 2006's Black Cadillac
; "I Don't Know Why You Don't Want Me," from 1985's Rhythm & Romance
and "Blue Moon With Heartache," plus her signature "Seven Year Ache," from 1981 -- as well as several songs from her 2009 album The List
, a compilation of covers taken from the now-famous list of 100 essential country songs given to the singer by her father on her 18th birthday.
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