Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Caitlin Rose - Brudenell Social Club, Leeds

Would it be fair to say, that Country and Western polarises music lovers more than any other genre? For many, C&W epitomises the good old boy, right wing leanings of white America.  The patriotic pro-war ramblings of country artists such as Toby Keith, appeal to the boot-scooting, stars and stripes waving republican right, and leads to the idea that country music has always been politically conservative.  However, the pro-weed leanings of Willie Nelson to the George Bush baiting antics of the Dixie Chicks, suggests the genre has more to offer.  

Continuing the broken-hearted, whiskey soaked country blues of Loretta Lynn, Emmy-Lou Harris, Iris Dement and Gillian Welch, Nashville native, Caitlin Rose, captivated her small but perfectly formed audience with songs from her beautiful current album, Own Side Now. Sipping on a 'medicinal' whiskey throughout the set, Rose - despite being only 23 - gave a performance of assured maturity that often reminded me of Sissy Spacek playing the aforementioned Lynn in the 1980 biopic The Coal Miner's Daughter

Kicking off with new single Learning to Ride, Rose showed how comfortable she is as a performer, by cracking jokes to the audience and flirting with her mainly English backing band throughout the hour long set.  If I had one gripe, it would be the fact that there was no room on tonight's setlist  for her cover of The Stones' Dead Flowers, but a small price to pay for spending an hour with Nashville's new queen of country.

Members of the Velvet Owl Gig Collective outside the Brudenell Social Club.

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