I’m grumpy with Rosanne Cash tonight

Actually, I’m grumpy about a few things this evening. Maybe I’ll share the other with you another night, but it has to do with bluegrass bookings.
The one I can and will share with you- whether you want it or not- is this. And I’m as mad at myself as I am at Rosanne and her people.
I’ve been hearing cuts from The List for weeks now, and nothing really impressed me too much. Pretty much music by the numbers. Which is disappointing for me, mostly because I’ve got a crush on Rosanne that is almost Emmylou-like; musically, I mean. She can flat sing, and I’ve loved most everything I’ve heard although I’ve never tripped across that first, Europe-only album.
But, as I buy everything Rosanne does, I knew I would pick it up the first chance I got. (BTW, went to the local HMV the other day looking for it; none on the shelf. Their computer said they had 15 in the store. After a five minute wait while the back was searched, I was asked if I wouldn’t mind coming back later in the week as it was in a box in the back and couldn’t be found right now. This was on Sunday after the Tuesday release. Guess who lost a sale? And the stores wonder why fewer and fewer are buying hard copies. But, I digress. I’m good at that…)
So I go to Wal-Mart on the way home from work the other day, completely forgetting I meant to check on iTunes for the album as I suspected there may be a bonus cut on the download, and I buy the album for $15.99.
As soon as I go home, I see the computer and have a V-8 moment. I pull up the album, and see that for $9.99 I could have downloaded the album and got a bonus track with Neko Case.
So, for $6.00 more, I get one song less. The packaging contains nothing that would be worth the extra three-toonies. No insights. Nothing memorable.
So, I’m grumpy.
(Not terribly impressed by the song selection either, even having known prior to buying what was on the album. The chosen songs are pretty lame- not necessarily the performances themselves- and of the waaaaaay overdone variety on the whole. I would have thought John would have been a bit more adventurous when recommending songs to his daughter. Or, maybe, the blame- if such is appropriate- belongs to JL and RC and they just chose the lame songs.
Okay, lame is the wrong word I realize. But, is there anyone who in the year 2009 will feel their world shift hearing Rosanne sing “Miss the Mississippi and You?” Or “I’m Movin’ On” or “Sea of Heartbreak?” “Long Black Veil?” “She’s Got You” or “Girl from the North Country?” How about something- anything- that wasn’t a top ten hit? (Well, I guess that would be “GftNC” but why let facts get in the way of a rant!)
The definitive cover of “Silver Wings” has been done. Ditto “Heartaches by the Numbers”. The only song that I was excited to see listed was “Bury Me Under the Weeping Willow” and that is because of the thread that runs through that song back to the Carter Family.
I have no doubt of Rosanne’s sincerity in recording these songs. But 36 years after her father created the list for her, nothing about these selected songs appears inspired. Few of these songs would have been fresh while Rosanne rode the tour bus with her dad, but now- and with dozens of cover projects and one-off covers between them- the choices she has made seem lazy. And I realize she is working with a list put together that many years ago. We’ll need to wait for a second volume to understand the complexities of Johnny’s chosen 100 songs, but the 12 selections here don’t give me much hope. Too safe, by half.
But, I’m really mad because, once again, the recording industry got extra money out of me for giving me less than I deserve as a consumer. Am I any less worthy of hearing Rosanne and Neko sing “Satisfied Mind” as those who download the album for ten bucks? Where is the logic in that? And don’t even get me started on the Barnes and Noble exclusive version with yet another song on it- there are no B&Ns in Canada, as far as I know.
How about a Fervor Coulee edition of the album with a Bill Monroe song on it, just for me?
Okay. I’m done. I don’t feel better.
Anyone else frustrated by anything tonight?? (Sorry about the crowded condition of the last few paragraphs- I’ve attempted to edit to leave breaks four times, but they aren’t taking.)

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