Until recently, Whitney Rose's life has been one of transition, beginning in the idyllic environs of Canada's Prince Edward Island, and continuing through her move to Toronto and eventually Nashville where she found her true purpose. Following on the heels of a pair of well-received releases - her 2017 EP "South Texas Suite," which found her working with Raul Malo and The Mavericks, and, later that year, "Rule 62," which also featured Malo as her co-producer and musical mainstay - she can now claim what may well be her most impressive effort yet, the tellingly titled "We Still Go to Rodeos." With songs entirely penned by Rose herself and cast of contributors that includes such illustrious names as veteran producer Paul Kolderie, guitarist Gurf Morlix, drummer Lisa Pankratz, bassist Brad Fordham and guitarist Rich Brotherton, her confidence and authority have never been more apparent.
Those qualities are also vested in the fact that the new album marks her initial offering on her own independent label, MCG, yet another indication that she's ready to control her artistic destiny and assert her musical designs. Of course, it doesn't require that the listener delve any deeper than the songs themselves to appreciate the full depth of her determination. It's evident in the riveting opener "Just Circumstance," the effortlessly enticing "Home With You" (an ideal anthem for these sequestered times), the seductive stance takin on "You'd Blame Me for the Rain," the implied remorse that ricochets "Through the Cracks" and the engaging and expressive "A Hundred Shades of Blue."
Albums like "We Still Go to Rodeos" don't tend to appear out of the ether. In this case, it's a milestone of sorts, one that establishes her pedigree as an artist of importance even while it continues to set a standard to which all her future efforts will be compared. Whitney Rose has arrived, and this is the album that affirms that fact entirely.
Lee Zimmerman is a freelance writer and author based in Maryville, Tenn. He also expounds on music on his web site, Stories Beyond the Music - Americana Music Reviews, Interviews & Articles. His book - Americana Music - Voices, Visionaries and Pioneers of an Honest Sound is available from Texas A&M University Publishing.