Whitney Rose’s wonderful album Rule 62 was one of my favourite releases of last year so I was delighted when she announced a show in Glasgow, her first time ever playing Scotland. And I wasn’t disappointed either as Whitney put on a fun and fabulous show, proving that sometimes music is better when you don’t take yourself too damn seriously.
Opening the evening’s all female bill was Paisley-based singer-songwriter Lisa Kowlaski, who has just returned from performing during Tartan Week in New York. She was given a warm reception by the crowd, especially during the nod to her homeland on the beautiful cover of Caledonia. With songs about breakups and girl crushes Lisa’s songs are very much in the Taylor Swift vein (she has even organised a Scottish tribute night to Taylor in the past).
Next up was Martha Healy, another excellent local Scottish singer with country and Americana influences in her music. Her set included some great new songs she wrote while in Nashville recently, suggesting we have a treat in store when she releases her new album later this year. A cover of Walking After Midnight was also welcomed by the country loving crowd.
After a short build up by her band Whitney Rose sashayed on stage looking every bit like a country music superstar (which if there was any justice in this world she already would be). Wearing an outfit she bought earlier that day on her stroll around Glasgow she immediately won the hearts of the crowd, even more so when she said Scotland was one of the friendliest places she’d visited on tour. Songs like Boots and Three Minute Love Affair from her South Texas Suite EP sounded great, her talented band adding energy and dimension to the evening.
What sets Whitney apart from the standard Americana acts is that her vintage style and vibe also incorporates influences like rockabilly and girl groups as well as traditional country. Be Better to My Baby was a perfect slice of dreamy sixties pop and she also performed a blistering cover of Lesley Gore’s You Don’t Own Me.
Highlights from the set for me were the songs from Rule 62 including ‘I Don’t Want Half, (I Just Want Out)’, one of the funniest divorce songs I’ve ever heard and Can’t Stop Shakin, her ode to anxiety. I was hoping to hear Trucker’s Funeral but hey you can’t always get what you want and she more than made up for it with a varied and enjoyable set.
Whitney’s encore included covers of Harper Valley PTA, the sock it to the man country classic which she pulled off with style and she finished with Two More Bottles of Wine which had everyone raising their glasses to the magic of country music.
The boots, the band, the songs and the singer were dazzling from start to finish. All Whitney Rose needs now is for a few more people to get wise to her music. The ABC2 is an unusual choice for touring country singers and the layout of the venue is not the best for an intimate show since the large seating area at the back means the crowd can end up quite spread out. However it’s testament to the strength of Whitney’s set that by the end of the night everyone was dancing and singing along.
So next time Whitney’s playing in your town put your gladrags on, get down to the show and dance the night away. You can’t fail to fall in love with this girl.
TOUR DATES: http://whitneyrosemusic.com