Track Premiere: Helen Rose “King Of This Town”

Photo: Julia Brokaw

Americana UK has the pleasure today to premiere the third single from Helen Rose’s new album ‘Rugged Elegance ‘.  Helen Rose was born in Los Angeles but grew up bicoastal in a family deeply rooted in the arts – her mother a costume designer and her father a musician, actor and carpenter. She spent her youth roaming the fields of the eastern shore of Maryland and herding cattle in central California. As a young girl, she began to sing with her father’s bluegrass band and was hooked, eventually adding the saxophone and guitar to her musical arsenal. Helen met Jonah Tolchin in High School, a fellow young blues enthusiast who quickly became her friend and would go on to be the producer of ‘Rugged Elegance’.

There’s certainly a blues influence on ‘King of this Town‘, but Helen Rose is also channelling some of those whose influences have helped to shape her sound – she cites channels – Emmylou Harris, Lucinda Williams, Bonnie Raitt amongst others.  

Speaking of the song, Helen Rose told Americana UK that “‘King of this Town’ was written while I was riding a train from Upstate NY down to the city after my uncle’s memorial in 2021. I was on my way to meet Jonah to share songs I had in progress. It is a tribute to the immeasurable spirit of my Uncle, Thomas Wright, who was a legend in the NY arts scene back in the day. I lived with Tom in his rent controlled loft for the greater part of my 20’s, and  we shared a close bond. He would show up to my shows with fellow artist legends of the 1960s/70s art scene in tow, and I could always see his hair glowing in the lights from the stage. He used to run his wolf-dogs down the streets in Tribeca in the 70’s when it was snowy out, and there was no traffic, no cars, no Beyonce and Harry Styles living next door, and to Tom, Greenwich village had already sold out. He carried rocks in his pockets to ground himself, and encouraged those he loved to do the same. He pissed off the cops by refusing to take down the windchimes he put up on the balcony that a neighbor had complained about, and I came home from work to an epic yelling match with the cops, the neighbor and Tom out the window. He painted a toy rat gold and kept it on the floor near the guest room to keep guests on their toes. The cover picture [of  ‘Rugged Elegance’] is a picture of Tom picking a 5 year old me up from the airport for my first trip to New York City! The stories go on and on. New York City will never be the same without him.”

About Jonathan Aird 2756 Articles
Sure, I could climb high in a tree, or go to Skye on my holiday. I could be happy. All I really want is the excitement of first hearing The Byrds, the amazement of decades of Dylan's music, or the thrill of seeing a band like The Long Ryders live. That's not much to ask, is it?
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