Rosanne Cash playfully bickered with her one-man band -- guitarist/producer/husband John Leventhal -- throughout her performance Sunday night at the Dakota Jazz Club.
After she forgot some of the lyrics to her opening song, Hank Snow's "I'm Movin' On," the 54-year-old New Yorker blamed it on too many hormones.
"You mean fewer hormones," interjected Leventhal.
"That's what I said," she said.
Then when Cash played "Tennessee Flat Top Box," one of her dad's hits (1962) that she made into a hit as well (1988), she praised Leventhal's hot, twangy acoustic guitar solo.
"This man is a native New Yorker," she pointed out.
"But from the West Side of Manhattan," he added. "The Southwest side."
"I'm going to have to start calling you Luther Leventhal," she retorted.
The delightfully witty banter evoked Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash in concert. But Johnny's daughter is her own artist, as she proved Sunday. She is a penetratingly introspective singer-songwriter deeply in touch with her emotions.
Several songs from 2006's "Black Cadillac" CD looked at loss, death, grief and acceptance. She sounded lonelier than Hank Williams when she sang "The World Unseen."
And Cash reached new depths of sadness on her dad's "I Still Miss Someone," which she turned into an art-song dirge with a hint of hymn-like optimism. The song was one of a half-dozen she performed from her fall release "The List," drawn from 100 essential country songs prepared by Johnny Cash when his California pop-rock daughter turned 18.
She and her hubby relished playing such classics as the deeply soulful spiritual "Motherless Children" and the swinging "Miss the Mississippi and You." Cash also covered her dad's "Big River" and Bobbie Gentry's "Ode to Billie Joe," which were as big crowd pleasers as her own signature, "Seven Year Ache," which needed no rejoinder from Mr. Rosanne Cash.
For a set list go to www.startribune.com/poplife. Jon Bream • 612-673-1719