Rosanne and John will be revisiting the music and stories behind The Wheel on a special run of shows.
Recorded in the early ‘90s when Rosanne first moved to New York City and co-produced by Cash and Leventhal The Wheel sparked a reinvention of her sound and career, and is the beginning of a lifelong creative partnership. Together, they have made seven albums including the three-time Grammy winning The River & the Thread, Black Cadillac, The List, 10 Song Demo, Rules of Travel and She Remembers Everything, alongside dozens of side projects and thousands of live performances, and are currently writing the music and lyrics for the Broadway musical Norma Rae.
It all started when Rosanne wrote seven songs for The Wheel and played them for John: the title song, “You Won’t Let Me In,” “Change Partners,” “Sleeping in Paris,” “From the Ashes,” “Roses in the Fire,” and “If There’s a God on My Side.” “I told him they were ‘elemental’— full of references to the natural world: wind, fire, rain, moon, snow. I wasn’t even sure what I was talking about when I said it, but I had noticed that I was using a lot of nature metaphors, many of them violent. He sort of cocked his head, a little confused, and said, ‘Okay. But are they good songs?’”
The Wheel sessions were “a thrilling mix of truly gifted people,” remembers Rosanne, who was joined by Benmont Tench, Bruce Cockburn, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Marc Cohn and Steuart Smith, among others. “John and I grew closer with every session, and by the end of the record we were a couple. The music was both a revelation and the revelator.”
“Most remarkable about these tightly scripted songs is Cash's resilience…” writes Rolling Stone in a 4-star review from 1993. The record also made Entertainment Weekly’s Best of the Year list: “This crystal-clear, intensely sung record rings startlingly true as it details the end of a marriage-and the renewal that can follow.”
“It’s satisfying and sweet to re-introduce The Wheel in this 30th anniversary year,” adds Rosanne. “I can’t look back at that time and separate the music from Love. What was true then has become more true and more alive every day since.”
Upcoming plans from RumbleStrip Records include a series that re-explores Rosanne’s recently-acquired catalog of master recordings from 1978-1993. In early 2024, the label will release Leventhal’s first solo album.
The Wheel 30th Anniversary Deluxe Edition was produced by John Jackson (ex-Legacy Recordings, The Jayhawks) and long-time manager Danny Kahn, who will both oversee the future archival releases and run the label’s operations, and mastered by Dan Millice.
About Rosanne Cash
“One of the most ambitious and literary songwriters of her generation” (Rolling Stone), Rosanne Cash is America’s foremost musical woman of letters, a literate and incisive artist whose poignant and distinctive vocals turn every song into a revelatory tale. A singular artist at the peak of her interpretive powers, Cash has earned four Grammy awards—three for The River & The Thread (2014, Blue Note)—and 12 additional nominations. Among many other accolades, in 2021 she became the first woman to receive the Edward MacDowell award for music composition. Her acclaimed memoir Composed was published in 2010.
About John Leventhal
John Leventhal is a six-time Grammy Award-winning musician, producer, songwriter, and recording engineer who has produced albums for William Bell, The Blind Boys Of Alabama, Michelle Branch, Rosanne Cash, Marc Cohn, Shawn Colvin, Sarah Jarosz, Jim Lauderdale, Joan Osborne, Loudon Wainwright III, and many others. He produced and co-wrote Rosanne Cash's three-time Grammy winning The River And The Thread (2014), and earned Grammy awards for his work with WIlliam Bell, Sarah Jarosz, and Shawn Colvin, including Record and Song Of The Year for producing and co-writing her hit, “Sunny Came Home” (1997).