Rosanne Cash and John Leventhal recently appeared at Freight & Salvage in Berkeley for a special AG Session and concert featuring music from her acclaimed 2014 album The River and the Thread, which won three Grammy awards last year.

Watch above as Cash and Leventhal — her longtime collaborator, husband, producer, and guitarist — perform two new songs, “The Sunken Lands” and “Modern Blue,” plus the classic, “Blue Moon with Heartache,” which Cash wrote 35 years ago. Cash says she only recently re-retained the copyright for “Blue Moon with Heartache,” adding with a laugh, “A lesson to young songwriters: Don’t give away your copyrights.”

Cash also explains that the hero of “The Sunken Lands” is her grandmother: “She raised seven children. She picked cotton. My grandfather was not the kindest man in the world; she didn’t complain. … I went back a few years ago and was really struck by how hard her life was, and you know, you start thinking, I’m a modern woman. I live in New York City. I have every amenity. I couldn’t have lived that life, but is there something of her that survives in me? Some bit of her tenacity?”

For more Acoustic Guitar Sessions, check out the archive.

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