Album Review: Whitney Rose - “We Still Go To Rodeos”

The Canadian singer/songwriter (now based in Austin Texas) brings out the roots music heavy hitters to support her creation of what may be her best album yet.

If you were to rate Whitney Rose’s We Still Go To Rodeos on the basis of the opening 1-2 punch of “Just Circumstance” and “Home With You,” you’d have a stellar record. Fortunately, for us, the rest of We Still Go To Rodeos rises up the quality of songs that those two openers (songs which recall bygone eras without ever feeling old or facsimiles of those times). One of the remarkable things about We Still Go To Rodeos is that Whitney Rose is the sole writer on these songs. It’s remarkable in an era where there are seemingly thirty songwriters on nearly every pop and country radio hit. She proves that you don’t need a focus group to make quality art.

While Whitney Rose’s earlier recordings (two of which were with the Mavericks frontman Raul Malo serving as producer) showcased the type of singer/songwriter who owned her own style, We Still Go To Rodeos does feel a little more “rootsy” in places like the cowpunk strut found in “In A Rut” and classic storyteller country rock of “I’d Rather Be Alone.” Moody atmospheric production accompanies Whitney’s stellar vocals on the aching “A Hundred Shades of Blue” and the groovy, greasy sonic textures of “You’d Blame Me For The Rain” set a tone and mood as well.

Released as the Covid-19 Pandemic had its grip on the United States and the greater world, it would’ve been easy to miss such a classy, assured and quite simply fantastic album, but thankfully we didn't. Easily classified as Americana but most definitely a country album too, We Still Go To Rodeos is a confident album and one that shouldn’t be missed.