Welcome to ‘From the AUK Archives’ where each week we will be lighting the old oil lamp and gingerly decending the crumbling old staircase into the dark, dusty and cobwebbed basement of AUK Towers in order to rummage through the archive and bring you some of the treasures that lie within.
This week we start with AUK’s 2017 review of the debut EP/mini-album from Whitney Rose, who by strange coincidence will be arriving on these shores this very week to play The Long Road Festival and Mid-Sussex Americana Festival followed by headline dates in London, Manchester and Chester. AUK will be reviewing the Manchester show and we highly recommend that you get yourself along to one of the dates if you can.
Our reviewer here, Mark Nenadic, was fulsome in his praise and quick to spot an emerging talent, whilst also revealing himself to be a bit of a smart-arse. Here’s what he said in his 8/10 review:
Six tracks lies somewhere between an E.P. and a mini album, depending on your point of view. Though that’s of little matter when “South Texas Suite” is a thing of such beauty. A Canadian now residing in Austin, Whitney Rose is accompanied here by the seemingly obligatory line-up of musicians who have backed up the great and good (Cash, Willie Nelson, Haggard, The Mavericks) and between them they nail down the groove to perfection. Rose happily describes the collection as a love letter to Texan musical culture; which is hard to argue against with the evidence she presents here.
Opening track Three Minute Love Affair is a Tex-Mex two-step delight. Next up, Analog is a paean to pre-digital days, gently rolling on a jazzy, western swing vibe. Boots is a full on Honky-tonk homage to the legally obligated footwear for all Texas residents. Following on, Blue Bonnets is blue eyed country pop – Tears On My Pillow and To Know Him Is To Love Him are close musical cousins. Final track How ‘Bout A Hand For The Band is the sound of here erstwhile sidemen cutting loose Buckaroos style.
A harsh critic might argue that an instrumental closer is essentially filler. It’s probably a little too much fun to be so easily dismissed though. Throughout, Rose’s voice errs on the gentle side of sassy; reminiscent of Eddi Reader in places, who most will appreciate can carry a tune! Female country singers are at the forefront of the genre right now and Whitney Rose fully deserves her place amongst the very best.
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Skipping through a Lone Star State musical heritage in just over twenty minutes, Whitney Rose never misses a beat