Caitlin Rose

Event Off Sale: Tickets no longer available

zanzabar presents Caitlin Rose

Caitlin Rose

Andrew Combs

Thu, April 11, 2013

Doors: 8:00 pm / Show: 9:00 pm (event ends at 11:59 pm)


Louisville, KY


Off Sale

This event is 21 and over

Caitlin Rose
Caitlin Rose
Exploring your emotions can make for a good song, but it’s shining light on those which plague us
all that builds the backbone of the truly great ones. Coupled with tireless melodies that seep into the small
spaces between your bones; it's the kind of music that brings on little movements when life has gotten too stiff.
This is what Caitlin Rose does best. Her lyrics – visceral, illustrative, witty and wry – are pieces of stories that
examine matters of the heart through a unique lens that makes us all see a bit more clearly: from the loneliness
of relationships, to palpable dissolving human connectivity, to the loss of love with none of the melodrama. At
her core, Nashville’s Rose is a storyteller and a song-crafter who is more interested in what's being produced
than how it helps her along the way.

Though much of her acclaimed debut Own Side Now was personally-inspired, what stood out most was
its ability to paint a picture and tell a near-cinematic story, from the simultaneous last puffs of both cigarette
and relationship, to the delightfully seedy characters pocketed in a coin-toss on the streets of New York City.
With her follow-up, The Stand-In, Rose seems more interested in telling tales than spilling confessionals. "It
feels more compelling to live through a song than it did having already lived it,” she says, The Stand-In is a
journey down a road she’s always wanted to take: the path of the story-song. One track, “Pink Champagne,”
inspired by a Joan Didion short essay, accounts for the desperate, short-lived passions of a Vegas wedding.
The emotions stem from both protagonists, but are dissected and recounted by the watchful eye of the chapel
or some honest observer from within. This collection of songs seems bent on investigating relationships from
different perspectives; male and female, young and old, left and leaving, but they all tackle the bitter farewells,
romantic misunderstandings and endless responsibilities in life. Using fibers of her fringe country roots and the
bold musical capabilities of fellow producers/co-writers, Jordan Lehning and Skylar Wilson (Justin Townes
Earle), The Stand-In seamlessly melds pedal steel guitar with restless pop beats, creating lush instrumentals
that build on the more spare construction of Own Side Now. "These songs are all based in sentiment. We wrote
the stories to convey a feeling.” The result is infinitely more universal.

Rose doesn’t like to categorize her music, but like the great songwriters of our time, what she creates
is beyond easy classification. While she often mentions core influences like Linda Ronstadt, Bob Dylan and
Patsy Cline, she’s constantly absorbing books, movies, cultural ticks: when explaining her writing style, she
pulls a quote from famed 1930's daredevil, Karl Wallenda who said, "being on the wire is life; the rest is just
waiting.” The quote is referenced in Bob Fosse's 1979 semi-autobiographical film, All That Jazz. The film
was written and directed by the famed choreographer turned director whose colorful personality and editorial
brilliance became a lead inspiration in the making of The Stand-In. In the context of the scene in which it's
used, the quote comes off as a bit of a put-on, but somehow rings true for 'slave to show-biz' character Joe
Gideon; and Rose as well for whom, all paths lead to the song. Much like Fosse, she tends to describe her
work as restrained and deliberate, something evident on Own Side Now. Though for The Stand-In, she's taken
a few leaps outside her comfort zone, making the result, as she puts it, something like a "first attempt at a high

It’s fitting that Rose wrote her first song at sixteen as a substitution for a high school paper. Even as a
means to an end, she recognized the power of music, and of melody, to relay emotions and stories in the most
gripping way possible. A youthful observer, she enjoyed hanging out after school at the local Waffle House
drinking cups of coffee and quietly shaping bits of gossip into first person tales of woe.

Growing up in Nashville to music industry parents (her mother, Liz Rose, is a songwriter who found
success working with artists like Taylor Swift, Leann Womack and others), Rose inherited her mother's
“inclination towards melody –the ability to naturally know where melody could and should go” early on and
again credits her love of songwriting to a long list of influences, many of which would be easily found in either
of her parents record collections. From Hank Williams to The Rolling Stones, she says, "I've always been more
inspired by what others have done."

This is evident in her penchant for covers – two have made their way onto The Stand-In (“I Was
Cruel,” by The Deep Vibration and “Dallas” by The Felice Brothers). She considers herself not just a writer,
but an interpreter of song, eager to take works she admires and expose others to their brilliance and also

reinvent them in a way that upon listening you might catch something you missed before.

“For me the intention behind any song is writing a good one,” Rose says “and to create something
worthy enough to share with other people” Rose’s songs, however, are way beyond worthy. They’re downright

Although steeped in the country tradition, Caitlin's music is not constrained by that heritage. Her confessional style and wry observations place her very much in the 21st Century, but it is her heart rending honesty, lyrical prowess and her dextrous delivery of said lyrics that sets her apart from her peers. Nothing shows this better than one of the albums many highlights, "For the Rabbits"; an epic saccharine-free, strings soaked (arranged by Jordan Lehning) ballad depicting a fractured relationship where she laments "Why is your love like rubber, he said / Or gum stuck under my shoe? / Leaving it there to avoid the risk of / Making a mess out of you". Even more remarkable when you realize it was written when Caitlin was sixteen years of age.

The record was co-produced by Mark Nevers (Lambchop, Will Oldham & Andrew Bird), Skylar Wilson (Justin Townes Earle) and Rose at the Beech House in Nashville, Own Side Now slinkily slides between the country pop numbers like "Spare Me" to the pedal steel fuelled absorption of "Things Change". The restraint from all players on this track is astounding with Caitlin ringing the changes with a vocal performance that belies her tender years, hitting the listener square in the guts and leaving one gasping for breath – "No I never wore your wedding ring/ I regret I never could/ Never mothered your child or seen you/ In its smile".

The title track displays a simpler approach, mirroring Caitlin's wish that "simple songs needing simple sounds" and the avoidance of "Broadway bullshit". From its humble acoustic openings it morphs into a majestic soulful gem, with wonderful fragments of tear jerking backing vocals interspersed with a subtle blend of piano and pedal steel. "I'm on my own side now… Who's gonna take me home? / Cause I don't wanna go it alone / Who's gonna want me when / I'm just somewhere you've been?" Everyone, it would seem, after hearing this particular tune.

As somewhat of a little appendage to the Dead Flowers EP, we are handed a mid album gift in the shape of "New York City" – displaying her joyful wit alongside honky tonk vibes and Shangri-la flourishes, this tale of outsider-in-sprawling-metropolis is another winner, especially when Caitlin stretches and hovers "There was acid rain that stained my jeans/Made 'em go from blue to green/ Made me look just like some kind of/ acid washed up movie queen".

"Shanghai Cigarettes" with Rayland Baxter on shared vocals serves as another fine example amongst many, with fuzzed out lead guitar and Caitlin riding a swinging rhythm, it sounds like it would happily sit on a Flying Burrito Brothers record.

As we move into the sunset of this glorious debut we are given another taste of her musical gifts in the shape of "Sinful Wishing Well'. With a smattering a minimal percussion and piano, she evokes the following "Though I don't know when I'll hit the bottom/ I've been falling for so long that I can't tell/ I know that you'll never hear me calling/ From the bottom of my sinful wishing well". Yet Caitlin never ever pleads for sympathy or affects whimsy. She simply pours out her soul pure and unadulterated.

There's no doubt that Caitlin Rose's talent is diverse and on the strength of Own Side Now, it's not just Taylor Swift who should be picking up all the awards in Nashville. She seems to be singlehandedly breathing new life into a long tradition of American music.

Caitlin has played with the likes of Deer Tick, Phosphorescent and Justin Townes Earle, including Bonnaroo and ACL Festivals. Once heard, never forgotten. They used to call it star quality. What do we call it now that our markers are so skewed?
Andrew Combs
Andrew Combs
Andrew Combs is a Texas songwriter, guitarist, and singer who lives in Nashville. His brand of country-folk looks back to Guy Clark and Mickey Newbury's heyday in Nashville. Following the success of the self-released 2010 EP, Tennessee Time, Coin Records released the 7-inch "Big Bad Love" in April 2012. While the EP displayed a decidedly Nashville sound, "Big Bad Love" and b-side "Take It From Me" reveal a ballsier side—a folk-rock sound with nods to rough-and-tumble Chicago blues and Planet Waves-era Dylan. Combs' live show was once described as a cross between the stripped-down country-rock of Merle Haggard and the tightly wound garage-punk of Detroit's MC5. They call it country soul swag, and you should too.
Venue Information:
2100 South Preston Street
Louisville, KY, 40217