At the start of the year, Whitney Rose released her ‘South Texas Suite’ EP, a brilliant follow up to her acclaimed ‘Heartbreaker of the Year’ album. The Texas based singer songwriter is currently in the middle of a European tour and will be heading to these shores at the end of May and we were lucky enough to catch up for a chat beforehand.
Hi Whitney. Your latest release is ‘South Texas Suite’, an EP you launched with a 3 minute video documentary. At the end of the video you call the EP ‘A good old fashioned love letter/thinking of you to Texas’. Can you expand on this?
When I moved to Texas in 2015, I was welcomed very warmly and it immediately felt like home. I also got schooled in so many ways (in a good way) and I’ll forever be grateful to Texas for that welcome and what I’ve learned. So I wanted to do something to give back and that ended up being South Texas Suite.
The song ‘Three minute love Affair’ opens the EP brilliantly, a song with a beautiful, timeless feel about a dance with a stranger. How did this song come about?
I was playing at the Continental Club shortly after I moved to Austin and I became entranced from the stage by the people dancing. It just kind of dawned on me how special a song can be to someone and what magic can happen in even the three minutes that it’s played. Really it’s an ode to the two-steppers of Texas, which is one of my favorite things about the state.
At many times throughout the record, you seem to be craving for a simpler time. Would you consider yourself an ‘old soul’? And is there an ‘era’ you would love to travel back to if you could?
Haha! Yes I suppose you could say that. I think it’s a common sentiment for people to think they were born in the wrong year and I feel that way myself sometimes. For now I’ll just be grateful my childhood was cell phone/computer free.
You produced the EP by yourself. That must have been scary and exciting all at the same time?
Yes, all of the above! But I was in very good company in the studio so at no point did I feel alone. I was working with stellar, (very) experienced musicians and everyone put in their two cents. My engineer (Cris Burns) was also an integral part of production. He runs Dale Watson’s studio (Ameripolitan Studios) where the EP was made.
How did you get started in music. Has a music career been a dream since a young age?
I’ve been told that I was singing as long as I’ve been talking, so that’s before consciousness, obviously. And yes, I’ve always wanted to have a career in music but I didn’t really get serious about it until a few years ago when I started writing my own songs.
And tell us a little about the artists that have influenced you over the years?
I grew up listening to George, Tammy, Dolly, Patsy, Kitty, Hank etc, etc and in my adolescence discovered 1960’s pop. Most of what I compose is a marriage of all of the above.
You’re currently on a tour of Europe which will include a visit to the UK at the end of May. How have you found the European audiences in comparison to those in the US?
I’ve found that there are a lot of Europeans over here, while back home there are a lot of Americans. I kid. A music lover is a music lover is a music lover and I’m grateful for every single one.
Have you played in the UK before and what are you looking forward to most when you hit these shores?
Never! I’ve never even visited. We play four shows in England and have one day off so I want to see as much as possible in that short time. I’m looking forward to a good English breakfast and some fish and chips, too. Oh and I hear the beer is good.
Describe what you would consider to be the perfect gig?
I hit every single note pitch perfectly and my band plays not ONE wrong note. Ha! Again, I kid. It would be having people there and said people are all glad to be there.
To finish, tell us what plans and dreams you have for the rest of 2017?
I made a full length album in Nashville right before this three and a half month long tour so that’ll probably be released in the fall and we’ll tour it. Between that and my summer tour schedule, a week of laying on my couch watching Golden Girls would be lovely.