By Jae-Ha Kim, Tribune Content Agency
Celebrity Travel by Jae-Ha Kim
January 7, 2014
Born in Memphis, Tenn., to music legend Johnny Cash, Rosanne Cash grew up in parts of California and currently resides in New York City with her husband, John Leventhal. Cash and Leventhal co-wrote the tracks on "The River and the Thread" -- her first album in four years, which she says was "entirely inspired by many trips to the Deep South, to Arkansas, Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana and more. The Delta is a tremendous source of power and beauty for musicians attached in any way to roots music. Traveling down Money Road in Mississippi, to the grave of Robert Johnson and to the Tallahatchie Bridge was beyond inspiring. It was a life-changing experience." Fans may follow Cash on Twitter at https://twitter.com/rosannecash.
Q. Have you ever traveled to a place that was so inspirational that you wrote a song based on those experiences?
A. Yes. "A Feather's Not a Bird" was inspired by visiting Florence (Alabama) and taking a road trip from there through Mississippi and on up to Memphis and Arkansas. That song is a travelogue. Another song on the record, "Money Road," is about the actual Money Road just outside Greenwood, Miss. Conversely, I have never been to Mobile, Ala., but I wrote a song called "Night School" based on how I imagined Mobile looked and felt -- steamy, full of magnolia trees and framed by water.
Q. If there is one city that captures your soul, which is it?
A. New York City. It's my home. Even when I hate it, I love the energy and insanity and cultural chaos and beauty and the people working at the top of their game. There is no place like it. But even though New York is my home and captures my essence, there are places in the South that resonate so deeply with me that they are like an echo of my heart.
Q. What do you remember about where you played your first show?
A. It was in northern California at a little club. I can't remember the name. I have fondness for places where I felt I played great shows! I remember shows at the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis, Infinity Hall in Norfolk, Conn., the Allen Room at Lincoln Center, the Luminato Festival in Toronto, the Century of Song Festival in Bochum, Germany and the Old Student House in Helsinki, Finland. I remember those places because the audiences and the venues and the nights were sublime.
Q. What is your favorite vacation destination?
A. I love the Caribbean for total relaxation. St. John is a particular favorite. If I want to vacation and move around and see things, and not just lie on a gorgeous beach, I love Scotland. It is a magical, magical place.
Q. What do you recommend people do in Scotland?
A. I would say to start in Edinburgh and do the tourist things -- see the castle, walk the Royal Mile and go to the Palace of Holyroodhouse to see where Mary, Queen of Scots lived. At the end of the day, have dinner at L'escargot Bleu, drive across the Firth of Forth up to Fife and see ruined Falkland Palace and walk the beautiful little High Street. Visit the Violin Shop at the top of the street in Falkland and have a drink at the pub. Go to Perthshire and see the monument to the Black Watch in Aberfeldy, stay at the Fortingall Hotel in Glen Lyon, then make your way, leisurely, to the Isle of Skye and try to just take in the beauty around you. Don't forget to go to Glasgow and Aberdeen and St. Andrews. You need a month or more.
Q. What untapped destination should people know about?
A. Aberfeldy, Scotland.
Q. What's the most important thing you've learned from your travels?
A. You can learn a lot about yourself when you leave home.
Q. Where are your favorite weekend getaways?
A. Upstate New York. The Hudson Valley is glorious.
Q. Where is the most romantic destination?
A. I would say Paris. My husband would say the Amalfi Coast. Actually, I think both of us are right.
Q. What are your five favorite cities?
A. New York City, Paris, Stockholm, San Francisco and Memphis.
Q. Where would you like to go that you have never been to before?
A. Russia. I have always wanted to go to St. Petersburg.
Q. When you go away, what are some of your must-have items?
A. Really good moisturizer, good headphones, a warm scarf -- even in summer -- for airplanes, a bag of almonds in my handbag in case there is no time for a meal and my phone.
Q. What is your worst vacation memory?
A. A freezing cold spring break in the Bahamas, where it rained so much that the cottage we were in flooded and the rugs and furniture were leaking with water.
(Jae-Ha Kim is a New York Times bestselling author and travel writer. You can respond to this column by visiting her website at http://www.jaehakim.com. You may also follow "Go Away With..." on Twitter at @GoAwayWithJae where Jae-Ha Kim welcomes your questions and comments.)
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