As if to prove her classic country “street cred” the talented Whitney Rose has released her second album release of 2017. What does that mean, you ask? Well, in the “olden days” an artist typically released two albums a year. On Rule 62, which follows January’s South Texas Suite, Whitney returned to collaborate with Mavericks front man Raul Malo (and producer Niko Bolas) with eleven new tunes, all but two of them self-penned by Whitney Rose herself. The production is balanced, nuanced and definitely steeped in the past without feeling old.
The album kicks off with “I Don’t Wan’t Half (I Just Want Out)” and showcases why Whitney Rose has become a darling of the Americana scene. She’s honest and her singing reflect that. The tight band (featuring Raul Malo, Kenny Vaughan, Chris Scruggs, Jay Weaver, Jen Gunderman, and Paul Deakin with Aaron Till and Max Abrams guesting in places) backs her up as she rips through the song’s lyrics. “Arizona” and “Better To My Baby” are even more pointed in their honesty and stunning musical soundscapes while “Can’t Stop Shakin’” blends classic country vibes with a little Stax soul to bring us one of the album’s highlights.
“Tied To The Wheel” is a melancholic song about a truck driver who needs to get to home while “Trucker’s Funeral” recalls great story songs from Jimmy Webb and Glen Campbell. “You’re A Mess” is an honest look at how some men treat women, and how they are hopeless at times or, rather, a mess. And that’s what makes Whitney Rose such a great artist. She’s making music that stands out amongst the stacks of me too Americana and traditional country revivalist acts. By working with Malo, Bolas and the tight band on these tracks, Whitney Rose has delivered another stunning record. It’s her fourth record and it is definitely where she belongs, as one of country music’s finest.