Following on from her impressive EP release South Texas Suite earlier this year, award winning singer-songwriter Whitney Rose is back with her fantastic album RULE 62, due for release on October 6th, on Six Shooter Records; including track Can’t Stop Shakin’
“Even the chief architect, standing in the ruins of her dream, could laugh at herself—and that is the very acme of humility.” Tradition Four, AA
“she can certainly kill a ballad … the authenticity of traditional country but with contemporary lyrics”
“Playfully croons through tales of love and mischief with girlish breath and devilish twang.”
– Rolling Stone
There are many useful rules to live by, but for Whitney Rose, there’s one that stands alone as a guiding principle for life as she knows it: Rule 62. The origin of the rule is best summed up by the poignant, pronoun-adjusted excerpt from Alcoholic Anonymous’ Tradition Four cited above, a treatise on how to find harmony between ambition and self-awareness, and how to learn one’s lessons with humour and humility. This truism, officially worded as “Don’t Take Yourself Too Damn Seriously,” is the origin of both the title and ethos of Whitney Rose’s forthcoming album, Rule 62.
Rewind to January 2017. Six months ago, Rose was primed to release South Texas Suite, a countrypolitan valentine to Austin, Texas. Days before the EP hit the streets and Rose kicked off a 4-month worldwide tour, the burgeoning songwriting force (and ‘country hair’ disciple) packed her boots for Nashville, where she entered BlackBird Studio A to reconvene with The Mavericks’ Raul Malo. In one short week, Rose, Malo and co-producer Niko Bolas channelled the tumult, turbulence and tensionoutside of the studio into Rose’s sophomore worldwide release, which includes nine self-penned songs. Playful yet uncompromising, Whitney Rose reminds us of popular music’s rich history of strong female voices and perspectives, and on Rule 62, Whitney Rose channels her inner Nancy Sinatra, Bobbie Gentry and Françoise Hardy.
Rule 62 finds Rose “breaking up with patriarchy”; a break-up evidenced by new songs that show verve, swagger and self-assurance in Rose’s instinctive sense of tone, broadened scope and attention to detail. Rule 62’s ‘break up’ theme can be felt in songs like “Arizona” and “Time To Cry,” two fiery, merciless tunes that show Rose at the end of her rope with the manipulation and discrimination of women in the music business and beyond.
First single, “Can’t Stop Shakin’” was originally written as an anti-anxiety treatment in Memphis soul dance party form; however, recorded against an ominous political backdrop, the song now reverberates with an undercurrent of uncertainty and anger that reframes the self-calming shimmy as an act of protest.
“’Can’t Stop Shakin’ started out as something I would sing to calm myself down.” Rose says. “We recorded that song on Inauguration day and you could physically feel the divide between the public and the unrest in the air. I was in the studio that week every day for twelve hours on average, so realized my contribution was going to have to take place within the walls of Blackbird. So the song that started as a personal anthem got a rewrite that day.”Whitney Rose
Rule 62 is Rose’s second release of 2017, and sees the songwriter’s increased output matched by increased distinction. With so much touring now under the tires throughout North America, Europe and the UK, it’s no surprise that Rose’s best work yet often explores her journeywoman’s experience. A move from her native Canada for a two month residency in Austin’s famed Americana bastion, the Continental Club, Rose describes as ‘lighting a fire in her’ and she felt compelled to stay. Smitten with Texas and the two-step dance culture, Rose found herself writing non-stop leading to the creation of both the self-produced EP South Texas Suite and Rule 62.
Rule 62 boasts the first-class musicianship and studio instincts of collaborator and producer Raul Malo. First working together on Rose’s 2015 debut Heartbreaker Of The Year; the comfort and familiarity between the two made for a seamless return to the studio. This time with the added ear of Niko Bolas as co-producer it allowed Raul to step down from the producer role from time to time and be a part of the band. Other musicians in the studio included Paul Deakin (The Mavericks) on drums, Jay Weaver (Dolly Parton, Tanya Tucker, The Mavericks) on bass; Jen Gunderman (Sheryl Crow) on piano; Chris Scruggs (Marty Stuart) on steel; Aaron Till (Asleep at the Wheel) on the fiddle; and Kenny Vaughn (Marty Stuart, Lucinda Williams) on lead guitar.