A Feather's Not A Bird

Album: The River & the Thread (2014)

Songfacts®:

  • The opening track of The River & the Thread, Rosanne Cash calls this song "a mini-travelogue of the South and of the soul."

    It contains a line inspired by her friend Natalie Chanin, who runs a clothing company called Alabama Chanin. Rosanne and her husband/musical partner John Leventhal stopped in to see Chanin during their trip to the South. "She was teaching me to sew, and she said this great line: 'You have to love the thread,'" Cash said in our interview. "I started thinking about it in a bigger way. And of course the music of the South and Appalachia were deeply embedded in both of us, and John was getting really inspired as well."

    Cash then "wove" the line into the song and used it as the basis for the album title.
  • The love of the thread that Natalie installed in Roseanne led her to form a sewing circle in Manhattan, which includes Steve Earle's wife Allison Moorer and the artist Maria Kalman. "We get together and sew and talk, it's great," she told The Daily Telegraph. "It's better than therapy."
  • This won Grammy Awards for Best American Roots Performance and Best American Roots Song.

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