Rosanne Cash is something of an anomaly in country music.
She's not one of those hep "new traditionalists," though a few of her songs, like the delightful current hit "Tennessee Flat Top Box," are in that vein. In fact, most of her music is old-style "soft rock" that so often passes for modern country--the sort of thing that purists and critics usually hate. Yet most of these same purists and critics are quite willing to make an exception in Cash's case and all but adore her.
If she can be classified as a country music singer--debatable, though she's certainly a country music star --she is surely the most well-rounded one we have right now. On Monday at the Roxy in West Hollywood, Cash once again demonstrated her impeccable taste in choosing songs as well as writing them, covering challenging material that might be seen as difficult out in the sticks, as well as her universally accessible hits.
Probably first and foremost, Cash remains a great confessional balladeer. She's disarming enough to make you think she's telling you things that maybe you shouldn't hear, as in the recent "The Real Me," a song as nakedly ambivalent and vulnerable as this kind of material gets. And Cash alluded to her well-publicized former bad habits in introducing "If I Could Only Learn to Make You Love Me."