It’s a simple no frills setup for the band, two guitarists, bass player, just a snare, bass, Hi hat and one cymbal for the drummer but what a delightful racket they make. I can’t praise them enough, the rhythm section drives the sound along with the drummer absolutely kicking the crap out of his kit and it’s nice to see a bass player who can actually play more than three notes although his dead eyed stare is quite disconcerting. Special props to the lead guitarist who also has some great licks. The only criticism is the backing vocalist is a little low in the mix.
Onto Whitney herself. The diminutive Ms Rose more than makes up for her small stature with one of the most powerful country voices you will hear. They are over here as part of a mammoth two month European tour supporting the fabulous ‘Rule 62’ released last year and we are treated to many tracks from said album.
Along with a phenomenal voice what stands out for me is the quality of the song writing. Often discerning, often self-deprecating, often sad and personal there’s also a great deal of humour as she demonstrates after one song which she describes as being about an asshole then introducing the next song as being a song about a different asshole.
There’s a smattering of covers tonight including ‘Suspicious Minds’, ‘Harper Valley PTA’ and an amazing version of Lesley Gore’s ‘You Don’t Own Me’. Hair tingling stuff. Aside from ‘You Don’t Own Me’ the other highlights for me were ‘Can’t Stop Shakin’ and ‘I don’t want half I just want out’, one of the best divorce songs ever.
If it’s straight country you’re into and you haven’t heard Whitney Rose then check her out. A great night with a real talent whose star can only continue to rise with the right exposure.
‘Till the next time, keep on country rockin’ y’all.