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Rosanne Cash Digs Deep into Her Southern Roots for "The River & the Thread"

Image courtesy of Photo Credit: Clay Patrick McBride (via ABC News Radio)
Image courtesy of Photo Credit: Clay Patrick McBride (via ABC News Radio)

Rosanne Cash is a Grammy-winning artist in her own right, but she spent many years trying to identify herself apart from the legacy of her father -- the late music icon Johnny Cash . She began to embrace her father's influence on the 2009 album The List -- a collection of Johnny's favorite songs -- and now Rosanne digs even deeper into her Southern musical heritage with a new project, The River & the Thread .

She tells ABC News Radio, "I think at this point in my life, I've made enough left turns and escapes and excursions and journeys, that you start noticing what you've carried in you all this time, and the people that you thought you left behind but you're still connected to."

After her father's band mate and friend, Marshall Grant , passed away in 2011, Cash and her husband, producer John Leventhal , began taking trips to explore the deep South's musical history.

Rosanne says, "We went to Robert Johnson 's grave. We followed the blues trail. We went to the Tallahatchie Bridge. I mean, it doesn't get deeper than that."

Those experiences inspired the rootsy songs on The River & the Thread , which serves as a chronicle of Rosanne's reconnection to the music that inspired her father's legendary career.

She explains, "Those things I thought I had put behind me -- my connections to the South and the geography even -- it all came home in a new way, and I felt I had really carried that all with me all this time."

The River & the Thread is now in stores featuring guest appearances from Rosanne's former husband, Rodney Crowell as well as John Prine and John Paul White of The Civil Wars .

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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