Preview Rule 62 by Whitney Rose
Rule 62 by Whitney Rose
This is turning out to be a busy year for Whitney Rose having released an EP in January, touring widely and recording Rule 62, her third full album, due for release on October 6. In Rule 62 Whitney Rose develops further her luscious Texas swing sound with a more assertive feel. She sings ballads with a voice that takes you right back to the 1950’s or 60’s but others are a lot more direct and reflect a young artist not at all happy with contemporary issues. Produced again by Raul Malo of Mavericks fame and Niko Bolas, backed by a band who redefine “tight”, in Rule 62 Whitney Rose has created her most complete recording to date.
Whitney Rose has been described as a blend of country and pop with some Texas two-step thrown in. The country and Texas influences have an interesting provenance because she is Canadian growing up in Prince Edward Island, far away from any honky-tonking. Well, not that far, because her grandparents ran a bar where their love of country music was constantly evident in what they played their customers. Fittingly perhaps, Rose considers, ‘There’s A Tear in My Beer’ her favourite song. 'Ring of Fire" was her grandfather’s top song. With that upbringing it is hardly surprising Rose fitted in so well when she moved to Austin around a year ago.
Opening track, ‘I Don't Want Half (I Just Want Out)’, is a perfect, timeless, country song. Rose sings in a silky voice to a two-step tempo about dumping her no-good man. The next track, “Arizona’, is a good example of this more direct style. The paces quickens and this time it’s Rose who’s leaving a bad situation, “I'll pack my bags today, I'm off to Arizona, Arizona’s where I'll stay”. New single, ’Can’t Stop Shakin’, also speaks frankly. Recorded on inauguration day, Rose directs her ire at the great split in her adopted country, so evident on that of all days. “Someone please turn off the news, I got the six o'clock blues, I can't stop shakin’, no, I can't stop shakin’”. The band play a mean bluesy beat combining some great slide with horns. Forget the bikers, don't mess with this lot.
‘Truckers Funeral’ is a beautiful tribute to a hard-working father, who died young. There is a touch of Glen Campbell to the tune and I’m sure Dolly would have been proud of the emotion and heartbreak Rose conveys. ‘Wake Me Up in Wyoming’ has such an easy feel, the band excel themselves once again and all bring the record to a rousing close with ‘Time to Cry’.
The album is perfectly produced and the backing musicians all deserve a mention; Paul Deakin (drums), Jay Weaver (bass), Jen Gunderman (piano), Chris Scruggs (pedal steel), Aaron Till (fiddle) and Kenny Vaughn (lead guitar).
In case you are wondering, the album’s title comes from the Alcoholics Anonymous treatise on finding harmony by learning life’s lessons with humility and humour. Whitney Rose translates this into a more direct piece of advice, “don’t take yourself too darn seriously”. Good advice, but take this Rule 32 very seriously as a perfect blend of old and alt’ country sung with a voice that spans decades.