Whitney Rose Signs With Six Shooter Records

Whitney Rose

Whitney Rose was one of the most critically acclaimed breakout country artists of 2015. Now to start 2016, Rose is poised to continue rising even higher. Six Shooter Records has announced they have signed the Canadian country artist to their label, based out of Toronto and Nashville. The 2015 Country Perspective Female Artist of the Year joins a label that is slowly but surely gaining a foothold in country/roots music, as it’s also the home of another critically acclaimed country artist that broke out in 2015, Sam Outlaw. Other notable acts on the label include Whitehorse and Tanya Tagaq. Six Shooter Records is distributed by Universal Music in Canada and by Thirty Tigers in the United States.

As I mentioned above, Rose really rose to prominence last year with the release of her sophomore album Heartbreaker of the Year. Produced by well-known frontman of The Mavericks, Raul Malo, Rose combined traditional country with old school pop music to create one of the most unique sounding country albums of the year. It received plenty of critical buzz, from AXS to AllMusic to Saving Country Music. We at Country Perspective were impressed by this album too, as it was a Country Perspective Album of the Year finalist and won our Female Artist of the Year award.

Rose took to Instagram to thank the people who made this possible for her and expressed much excitement about her future ahead:

So it looks we might possibly get her third album later this year, which is great news to hear. It seems more and more talented traditionally-based country artists are getting noticed and signed by labels. This is all part of the slow, but steady gain of traditional country music in the genre. Don’t be surprised if more of these type of signings continue to happen throughout 2016. It’s great to see a talented artist like Whitney Rose get recognized and signed onto an up and coming label that will take her to new heights. And hopefully Raul Malo will continue to work with her too, as I think they make a great pairing. This is just another reminder of all the potentially great music that could be released this year. It’s truly an exciting time for fans of country music.

Country Perspective’s 2015 Female Artist of the Year

In 2015 one of the major topics of the year was the infamous Tomato Gate. It brought a lot of attention to the ongoing issue of female country artists not getting a fair shake on country radio. While there were a few tongue in cheek comments and a few angry tweets, the female artist of mainstream country music really didn’t do anything about it and that left me disappointed. This left the field wide open for Country Perspective’s 2015 Female Artist of the Year and gave more unknown names a shot at winning. For Derek and myself it ultimately came down to the music. We asked ourselves who pushed the boundaries the most and brought something new to the table we haven’t heard before. Two artists’ fans rallied behind them and flooded our nominees post with numerous votes of support, but we could only choose one to win. The winner of Country Perspective’s 2015 Female Artist of the Year is Whitney Rose.

Whitney Rose

As I said above it came down to the music for us and who pushed the boundaries the most with it. Whitney Rose’s album Heartbreaker of the Year clearly did this better than the other nominees’ albums. Teamed up with producer Raul Malo, Rose did something with this album I don’t say very much after hearing an album and that is “I didn’t expect this at all.” This album is clearly rooted in traditional country and even country and western. It’s palpable throughout the album. But then the influence of Raul Malo starts to shine through. There’s influences of retro pop, Motown, gospel, jazz and blues. Anyone who has ever heard an album from The Mavericks knows how much they love to blend genres. It doesn’t work for every artist, but for Rose it fits perfectly. And what’s brilliant about listening to Heartbreaker of the Year is not knowing what you’re going to hear next.

You start off with “Little Piece of You,” which undoubtedly has a Motown influence laced with traditional country. Then you have an upbeat, western-style song like “My First Rodeo” and a stirring love ballad like “The Last Party.” The Motown sound returns with “Only Just a Dream” and then this is followed by the album’s title track, which is arguably the best on the record. Mixing vintage pop with traditional country, it tells a gripping story about an intriguing man who has caught Rose’s eye. But what really makes this song shine is Rose’s voice, which is at it’s best on this song. Raul Malo joins Rose on multiple songs on this album, but it’s his duet with Rose on the Ronettes’ “Be My Baby” where you really hear him. Their voices are like warm butter and together they’re a dream pairing. Malo is one of the best voices in country music and Rose is well on her way to joining him. If they made an entire album of duets, I would buy it in a heart beat.

Rose shows her fun side on the quirky “The Devil Borrowed My Boots,” “Ain’t It Wise” is another song that sounds like it was straight out of the 50s and “Lasso” is one of the most pure country songs on Heartbreaker of the Year. It’s the final song on this album though that shows how fearlessness of Rose. She covers the famous Hank Williams’ song “There’s a Tear in My Beer” and does it admirably. Covering Hank is daunting enough. Rose chooses to not only cover Hank, but close her album with it. The final song on an album is pretty important, as it’s the last thing the listener hears and is the final impression. This was a big risk by Rose and it ends up paying off beautifully.

This is only the second album Whitney Rose has ever released and already I can tell her future is bright. She has the potential to make stunning and memorable music for many years to come. I think I can speak for many in saying that I look forward to what comes next for this Canadian country artist. This is only just the start for her. The best is yet to come for Whitney Rose.

Album Review – Whitney Rose’s ‘Heartbreaker of the Year’

Whitney Rose Heartbreaker of the Year

So far 2015 has proven to be a year full of fantastic country and Americana music, already surpassing 2014 in terms of overall quality and variety. Almost every type of country music has been done brilliantly. Well I have to say there’s one area that has been a little lacking for me and that has been the absence of a truly phenomenal album from a solo female country artist. We’ve gotten plenty of very good albums from female country artists and even some phenomenal albums from Americana female artists. But not a female country artist. Well at least until today. Late in July I heard buzz about an upcoming album from a female country artist from Canada named Whitney Rose. And her producer for this album would be none other than the silky voiced frontman of The Mavericks, Raul Malo. I’m on record as a huge fan of The Mavericks and have praised them multiple times, including on their newly released album earlier this year, Mono. With a voice like Rose’s and Malo’s influence, I was eager to give Heartbreaker of the Year a listen. Not only did it live up to my high expectations, but it surpassed them.

Pianos play in the opening track “Little Piece of You.” It’s an upbeat love song with plenty of lingering steel guitar and organ play throughout it. Yet there’s also very much a pop vibe in not only this song, but also the whole album. Rose seems to find a perfect marriage of traditional country and “vintage pop.” Another upbeat tune in “My First Rodeo” is next. It seems to be about a woman going out on her own and promising it isn’t her first rodeo. There’s a frenzy of instrumentation in the song, including steel guitar, acoustic guitar, tambourine (or something similar) and drums. “The Last Party” is about a woman recalling the last time she was with a special man who was in her life. Rose’s voice is beautifully perfect on this song and producer Raul Malo can be heard in the background too, who complements Rose’s voice well. This dreamy heartbreak song is easy to fall in love with and want to play over and over.

Rose sing about the man of her dreams in “Only Just A Dream.” He’s perfect for her, but of course he’s just a dream, as her mind tricks her into believing he’s perfect for her. Rose’s voice and the instrumentation go really well together and play off each other to create a great song. The album’s title track is a sultry story about a woman coming across a man who absolutely stuns her. He’s simply alluring to her and she knows she can’t resist him, making her declare him the heartbreaker of the year with ease. Rose’s voice shines a lot on this album, but no more than on this song. Everything in this song is near flawless. Rose is joined by Malo on her cover of the Ronettes’ hit “Be My Baby.” When I heard Malo would be producing this album, I was really hoping he would do at least one duet and I’m not disappointed. Putting two fantastic talents like this together creates magic for the ears. You have to hear together for yourself to truly appreciate this song.

The most fun song on the album is hands-down “The Devil Borrowed My Boots.” After a woman goes out for a night of debauchery and craziness, she tells everyone the next day that wasn’t her, but the devil that borrowed her boots. It’s a clever way of telling a story about how the woman let the devil out for a night and it led to a wild night. The instrumentation on this song plays a big part in making this song so fun (Rose really enjoyed writing it too). It’s a strangely good combination of pop-y drums and acoustic guitar with an organ. “Ain’t It Wise” is another dreamy love ballad with killer instrumentation. The Mavericks’ influence is all over this album, so of course the instrumentation is great. It’s one of their trademark staples that make them so good and what makes this album so good too.

“Lasso” is a more traditional, desperado type ballad. It’s about a woman who continues to get “lassoed” in by a man every time she thinks she’s drifting away from him. She’s so enamored with him that she finds herself doing things she swore she would never do. It’s yet another solid love ballad. Heartbreaker of the Year closes with Rose covering the Hank Williams classic “There’s a Tear in My Beer.” Now just tackling a Hank song alone is a gutsy challenge worthy of a tip of the cap. When you cover it brilliantly like Rose does with this heartbreak classic, it’s even more impressive. If you can cover Hank this well, it truly shows your high level of artistry. Bravo to Rose on treating a classic from the king of country music with such grace and poise.

Whitney Rose delivers in a big way with Heartbreaker of the Year. There are so many things about it that make it standout. First and foremost is the unique sound of it. Never have I heard pop and traditional country music blended together so seamlessly to create a cool sound. The production is pretty much perfect on every song, so kudos to Raul Malo for his creative eye. The instrumentation is fun, engaging, rich and full of variety. This is the kind of country music that evolves the genre and takes it to new places, something mainstream country artists fail to do with their music. This album is an absolute must-listen and Rose is an artist you need to keep an eye on for years to come. Heartbreaker of the Year is one of the best of the year.

Grade: 10/10