Artist: Whitney Rose
Album: South Texas Suite
Label: Six Shooter Records
Release Date: 01/27/2017
The honeymoon is far from over for traditional country-pop chanteuse Whitney Rose. She’s still absolutely smitten with Texas, after picking up and moving there on a whim, all because of the friendly reception she received during a two-month residency in Austin. This bouquet of originals and covers repays that kindness.
Sweet and a little bit saucy, South Texas Suite, a six-track EP that feels deeply personal and heartfelt, is an endearing mash note from Rose to the Lone Star State. Awash in vintage echo, the aching ballad “Lookin’ Back on Luckenbach” meditates on departures and distance, while sparks fly from the rowdy, rip-roaring feminist anthem “My Boots,” a lively honky-tonk riot that ought to end with drunken gunplay and a few arrests. Her assured voice cuts across rambling piano runs, blazing fiddle and guitars, zig-zagging around with reckless abandon, as she adamantly declares, “I don’t feel like high heel shoes.” Rose is quick to add, “That don’t mean I ain’t a lady.”
That she is, even with her boots on, softly dancing to the rich, seductive Tex-Mex sounds of “Three Minute Love Affair,” as Michael Guerra’s sumptuous accordion embroidery fills the air with romance. In lightheartedly dismissing cold, heartless modernity and the god of technology, Rose makes Brennen Leigh’s “Analog” glow with melodic warmth, and she swoons through Teri Joyce’s “Bluebonnets for My Baby” (bluebonnets being the state flower of Texas) with anguished pleading, just like the girl groups of the ’60s. Rose just adds the right amount of twang to it.