Rosanne Cash Shares Some Insight on ‘The Wheel’ as it Marks its 20th Anniversary


Today is the 20th anniversary of the release of Rosanne Cash’s great album titled The Wheel.  Rosanne was kind enough to share some tidbits about the album and its recording with her facebook friends today. We’ve gathered them together for you here. If you’re a fan of Ms. Cash I highly suggest that you check out her facebook page. It’s mostly run by her and she does a great job keeping every one informed about her goings on. Here’s a link. While you’re at it, her twitter account is also very lively. Here’s a link.

— Larry Carta

Here’s Rosanne’s tidings on The Wheel.


I can’t believe this, but my album The Wheel came out twenty years ago today. Twenty. Years. Sounds a LITTLE dated to my ears, but a pretty good record. Proud of most of the songs, and I fell in love with Mr. L making that record. What could be bad about that?!

Since it’s the 20th anniversary of the release of ‘The Wheel, and I’m feeling nostalgic for that time, I’ll just give some ‘fun facts’ about it:

I wrote the title song after a day of taking care of children. A friend came over and I said, ‘I just need 30 minutes to myself’. I went in an office and wrote half the song in 30 minutes. Finished it later. Demo’d it, just guitar and vocal, and sent it to Steuart Smith. He sent it back with his amazing guitar part. I freaked out.

Since then, I have only met three other guitar players who could play that part: Larry Campbell, Rich Hinman and a stagehand at the Sydney Opera House in Australia (!!).

Fact #2 on the 20th anniversary of the release of The Wheel:

I wrote the lyrics to “Seventh Avenue” on a napkin at the Bottom Line in NYC, during intermission at a Leo Kottke show. I was living on Seventh Avenue in Manhattan at the time. I didn’t know Mr. L, John Leventhal, very well, but I loved his work with Shawn Colvin and Marc Cohn, so I asked him if he would write the music to it. He did and I loved the song, and I asked him if he would produce the album. He said no, but that he would co-produce it with me.

Fun Fact #3 from The Wheel:

After my dad heard “If There’s A God On My Side” he called me up, sounding as if he had had an epiphany.

  • Dad: “I know why you referred to God as She!”
  • Me: “Why?”
  • Dad: “Because you have daughters.”
  • Me: “Yep. That’s part of it.”

More fun facts about The Wheel on its 20th anniversary:

Mary Chapin Carpenter and Patty Larkin sang harmonies on the title track and Marc Cohn sang on “Sleeping In Paris.” I was so delighted. I met Catherine Russell while making that record–she sang on a couple tracks–and she and I became friends. She went on the road with me for a while to sing backup. (Kind of like Aretha singing backup for the best singer in the high school play.) We’ve worked together many times since then. She’s an inspiration.

The cover was shot in Central Park, at the Bethesda Fountain, by photographer Pam Springsteen, who happens to be Bruce’s sister.

Track listing

All songs by Rosanne Cash, except as indicated.

  1. “The Wheel” – 4:20
  2. “Seventh Avenue” (Cash, Leventhal) – 5:14
  3. “Change Partners” – 3:41
  4. “Sleeping in Paris” – 4:09
  5. “You Won’t Let Me In” – 4:31
  6. “From the Ashes” – 3:58
  7. “The Truth About You” (Cash, Leventhal) – 2:29
  8. “Tears Falling Down” (Cash, Leventhal) – 3:27
  9. “Roses in the Fire” – 3:25
  10. “Fire of the Newly Alive” (Cash, Leventhal) – 4:28
  11. “If There’s a God on My Side” – 4:51


  • Rosanne Cash: Vocals, Acoustic Guitar
  • John Leventhal: Guitars, Mandolin, Bass, Piano, Organ, Keyboards, Harmonica, Percussion, Background Vocals
  • Benmont Tench: Piano, Keyboards
  • Mary Chapin Carpenter: Background Vocals
  • Patty Larkin: Background Vocals
  • Marc Cohn: Harmony Vocal
  • Bruce Cockburn: Harmony Vocal
  • Steuart Smith: Guitar, Acoustic Guitar
  • Lincoln Shleifer: Bass
  • Zev Katz: Bass, Acoustic Bass
  • Frank Vilardi: Drums, Percussion
  • Steve Gaboury: Organ
  • Charlie Giordano: Accordion
  • Dennis McDermott: Drums
  • Tommy Malone: Harmony Vocal
  • Catherine Russell: Background Vocals

Related Links

Here are two songs from The Wheel 

Here are some performance videos of songs that appear on The Wheel

Posted by Larry Carta

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