Reviews

Whitney Rose’s We Still Go To Rodeos

Whitney Rose We Still Go To Rodeos
By Brian Rock

Whitney Rose saddles up for her fourth full length release, We Still Go To Rodeos. Cementing her place among the who’s who of women artists in Americana, she combines the fearlessness of modern songbirds like Eilen Jewell, Niki Lane and Lindi Ortega with the vulnerability of Patsy Cline. Pairing modern arrangements with classic themes of heartbreak, Rose takes Country music where it’s always been before. With her soft, sweet, sultry voice, she is the ingenue of Country Blues.

“Just Circumstance” starts with thunderous drum beats and soaring Telecaster notes as Rose recounts the hard luck story of a woman from the wrong side of the tracks. Singing, “No fault, just circumstance. They all say, ‘Bless her heart, she never had a chance’,” As the story goes from bad to worse and from circumstance to consequence, it would be easy to take a mocking or judgmental tone; but Rose’s earnest voice shows sympathy and empathy for a troubled soul who’s in over her head.

The rest of her songs show that Rose is no stranger to hard luck herself. “Believe Me, Angela,” is a classic, weepy steel guitar, tear jerker where she warns her ex’s new lover about what she’s getting into. “A Hundred Shades of Blue” adds a subtle touch of salsa rhythm to her Country Blues. She then goes full Blues on “You’d Blame Me For The Rain.” On the tender ballad, “Fell Through The Cracks,” she continues her hard luck streak sharing, “It didn’t take me long at all to get used to living alone again.” It seems Rose has been let down so many times, she’s resigned herself to the old school crooning of “Thanks For Trying” at the end of each failed relationship.

However, Whitney Rose isn’t afraid to turn up the heat on those who burned her. “Better Man” is a high energy, Honky-Tonk exhortation to her lover to get his act together. And if he doesn’t heed that warning, she gives some Pat Benatar style defiance in “I’d Rather Be Alone.” Summing up her dysfunctional dating disasters, she flat out unleashes on the Rockabilly rave up, “In A Rut.” Singing, “The whiskey don’t do what it used to do. I don’t got what it takes to make it through. Folks have all been telling me that I don’t look the same. Ain’t that a shame – I’m in a rut.”

Finding no luck in love, Rose turns to family and tradition to find her solace. “We Still Go To Rodeos” uses harmonica and Hawaiian guitar to reminisce about the things that have brought her joy in the past and still bring comfort today. Whether up or down in life’s rodeo, Whitney Rose’s voice always makes sure it’s one hell of a ride.

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Brian Rock

Brian Rock

Brian was raised gypsy style, moving every other year until well after college. As friendships proved to be temporary, Brian found a constant companion in music, wearing the grooves off Beatles and Dylan albums before moving on to Lyle Lovett and Dwight Yokam. Living so often in flux, he has come to value music and lyrics of lasting quality. Not moved by trends or fashion, he is drawn to timeless lyrics and soulful rhythms. Although now settled down, Brian still expresses his gypsy spirit through his writing. He has co-written songs with musician friends he’s met along the way, including several contributions to the 2012 ICMA Album of the Year, Family Album. Brian also writes children’s books and poems, including the Children’s Book Council featured title, The Deductive Detective.
Brian Rock

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