Award-winning Canadian singer-songwriter Whitney Rose has just released her new EP South Texas Suite on January 27th 2017, plus a UK tour including headlining London’s Green Note on May 27th.
The six song EP follows Rose’s 2015 critically acclaimed record Heartbreaker of the Year, produced by Raul Malo of the Mavericks; which was awarded Country Recording Of The Year in 2016 at the East Coast Music Awards in Canada. The breakout album presented Rose’s vintage country-pop influences, converting critics with its beguiling blend of then and now.
A recent move from her native Canada to Texas for a two month residency at Austin’s famed Americana bastion, the Continental Club, Rose describes as ‘lighting a fire in her’ and she felt compelled to stay. Quickly becoming smitten with Texas and fascinated by the two-step dance culture, Rose found herself writing non-stop leading to the creation of the self-produced EP. South Texas Suite became a good old fashioned love letter to the Lone Star State; a touch nostalgic, deeply romantic and defiantly personal.
The EP immediately grabbed my attention with its Texan charm mixed with a strong Mexican sound that captures a soulful, traditional country style that reminds me slightly of a female Sam Outlaw. Whitney’s voice is not only strong and beautiful but has a real old fashioned tone to it which would suit any era and is a voice that will always remain relevant and cool. Whitney’s vocal stylings seem to have a blend of Jazz, Soul, Rhythm and Blues and has a slight 50’s/60’s twist to it and even a little bit of 20’s.
The general tone of the EP makes me picture a nice setting on a hot summers day with a stage outside drinking margaritas or moonshine haha. South Texas Suite just makes you want to soak up the sun and relax listening to this EP all day long. The fact that there is barely a hint of modern-pop country on this EP makes it incredibly refreshing and exciting. Years ago, I never would have even imagined I would have liked this side to country but I really do.
With traditional sounding country music making a come back, especially with popular artists such as Kacey Musgraves who too holds a ‘tex-mex’ sound in her music, I feel Whitney’s EP will resonate with many country fans.
The EP begins with Three Minute Love Affair which kicks it off nicely. Upon first listen and if you weren’t aware of who Whitney was herself, you could imagine her being a much older artist. Her maturity in her songwriting and vocals are way beyond her years. This song is highly memorable and holds many beautiful sounds instrumentally.
Analog is the song that I can envision in a smoky Jazz bar setting. The track has a wonderful steady, infectious beat that you can’t help but tap your toes to. The Texan Country to it is very pleasing to the ear and something you can happily listen to for hours.
My Boots is a fun song about meeting a dates parents and going to meet them as you are and in Whitney’s case, wearing her boots and she won’t go if she can’t. The song has nice, relatable lyrics throughout and I love how she sings about still shopping in a thrift store even if she was a millionaire. The song has a very up-beat instrumental middle with incredible playing from the piano and guitar.
Blue Bonnets – a more of Jazz/Blues/country sound to it. The song is down-tempo and reminds me a bit of Tears On My Pillow. I can also imagine this song Doo-Wop style.
Lookin’ Back On LuckenBach – another more mid to down tempo track with a strong traditional sound with a clever title. I was really intrigued by the title so I looked up Luckenbach, which is a place in Texas. It seems Luckebach is sort of a ghost town but is also a venue for country music. The town has a small population with not much there but a working Saloon, a Post office (apparently no longer active), a dance hall and a general store which is mostly full of souvenirs.
What I discovered was an interesting read, which I recommend you have a glance at too. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luckenbach,_Texas
“Everybody’s Somebody in Luckenbach”
How ‘Bout A Hand For The Band – a real gripping instrumental track with a wide range of instruments, I could attempt to name them all but not sure I can but this song, as the title says, is a thank you to Whitney’s wonderful band who more than deserve a hand as their contribution to this EP makes it the strong EP it is. Whitney doesn’t sing on this track as it is purely showcasing the talents of the band.
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this EP and enjoyed playing something a little different to what I am used to playing.
Whitney belongs on the Opry stage as a regular as I feel she will win over audience after audience. Her music is the perfect fit with the Opry’s house band and I hope to one day witness this in person.
South Texas Suite is out now on Six Shooter Records and is a lovely EP that you should add to your collection/Playlist.
South Texas Suite – EP by Whitney Rose
Whitney will also be touring the UK in May. All info can be found here; http://whitneyrosemusic.com/live/