Grammy award-winning singer-songwriter Rosanne Cash leads a songwriting master class and performs from her repertoire, including the acclaimed 2014 album "The River & The Thread," Wednesday at the Granoff Center at Brown University. The sold-out evening also features Cash's longtime collaborator and husband, John Leventhal, who served as producer, arranger, co-writer and guitarist on "The River & The Thread."
Cash and Leventhal spoke with RIPR's Morning Edition Host Chuck Hinman from their studio in Manhattan about their approach to songwriting.
"I think the biggest mistake a young songwriter makes is writing about themes instead of specifics," Cash said.
“I have songs that I’ve been working on for 30 years, I’m not kidding,” said Leventhal. “I have at least three or four musical ideas that I’ve always really liked, and I’ve never been able to shape into what I thought was a worthwhile song.”
With a laugh Leventhal added, "They do torment me."
Participating master class songwriters will also perform at the Wednesday event, which kicks off the Brown Arts Initiative's Songwriting Series.