Austin Songwriter recently had the opportunity to talk with Whitney Rose, the young singer-songwriter and recent transplant from Canada who is making a big splash in Austin with her fresh approach to traditional country music.
It’s not easy to score a residency at the famed Continental Club, but Ms. Rose did just that shortly after moving to Austin from Toronto in 2015. Introduced to the club by Raul Malo of Mavericks fame, with whom she had collaborated for 2016’s Heartbreaker of the Year, she quickly fell in with the likes of Continental regulars Redd Volkert and Earl Poole Ball for a regular Happy Hour gig on Thursday evenings. She has also worked with members of Continental stalwarts Heybale!
“The folks at the Continental have been really supportive of me,” she said. And, given the pedigrees of the musicians that regularly haunt the venerable Austin institution, that it saying a lot.
Described by the New York Times as a ‘sultry country classicist”, Rose is an artist finding her unique voice, and a new American finding her way in a turbulent social and political time. When asked about influences, her answer illustrated the bridge she is crossing between Nashville and Austin. “Dolly Parton, of course, and Brennen Leigh,” another of Austin’s interpreters of classic country music.
She just released South Texas Suite, a gorgeous collection that is steeped in the diverse influences of her new-found home, and features most of her Continental Club friends. Now she is touring at a pace that would make Willie Nelson tired, hitting Canada, the U.S. and Europe between now and June 1st. She’s also finding time to work on another album, again with the help of Raul Malo, in Nashville.
Whitney Rose is finding her way in the rich world of new country music. We’ll certainly be watching!