Published Jan 25, 2017Prince Edward Island-raised honkytonk singer/songwriter Whitney Rose first made a real mark with 2015 album Heartbreaker of the Year, produced by kindred spirit Raul Malo. Since then, Rose decamped from Toronto to a new home base in Austin, TX. That's a smart move, given that her style is too classic and authentic to fit into the bland sound favoured by the Can-Country establishment.
Her new short but sweet collection, South Texas Suite, feels like something of a holding pattern, one designed to maintain the momentum Rose is generating south of the border while she (presumably) works on more original material for a new full-length record. The six songs clock in at 22 minutes collectively, and just four tunes are new originals (one is the short instrumental closing cut). Rose has wasted no time integrating Texan elements into her sound, with the assistance of such ace Austin players as Redd Volkaert, Earl Poole Ball, Kevin Smith and Tom Lewis (their resumes include playing with Merle Haggard, Johnny Cash and Willie Nelson). Fiddle, accordion and plenty of steel guitar frame her pure voice, while the fact that this was recorded over just two days helps account for the freshness of the sound.
Rose is equally at home on ballads like "Three Minute Love Affair" and "Bluebonnets For My Baby" and more upbeat, foot-stompin' pieces like "My Boots." She's a formidable talent, and one to watch closely. (Six Shooter)