Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Americana Rose Melts Hearts at the Toff

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Last night I had the pleasure of seeing up and coming young singer songwriter, Caitlin Rose performing at the Toff In Town. Hailing from Nashville, Caitlin is the daughter of songwriter Liz Rose, and has certainly followed in her mother’s footsteps writing clever contemporary country songs. I really like her way with words; she’s sassy and somewhat self deprecatory, as exampled in her song Learnin’ to Ride where the chorus goes like this:
” Learning to ride, oh, learning to ride
I get knocked down when I'm learning to ride
A few broken bones for a place to hide
I get knocked down when I'm learning to ride.”

The show at the Toff was the last on Caitlin’s short first tour of Australia. She came as a support for The Felice Brothers, but did a few side shows on her own.

The support act last night was the fabulous Melbourne band Little John. They performed a sizzling, passionate set that almost upstaged the feature act.

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They sang a selection of songs from their self titled album and, as always, impressed with their wondrous male choir harmonies, and eerie otherworldly musical arrangements.

Caitlin opened her set with Coming Up, following that with Learning To Ride and Spare Me, all from her debut CD Own Side Now. She explained that she didn’t know that many songs and didn’t know how she was going to fill an hour, having only to play for half an hour while supporting The Felice Brothers.

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She coped alright, ably accompanied by her long time guitarist Jeremy Fetzer and pedal steel player Spencer Cullum Jr. In fact she managed to get through fourteen songs in all, most of them her own composition, with a cover of Fleetwood Mac’s That’s Alright.

Caitlin Rose’s voice has been described a cross between Patsy Cline and Iris Dement, but I thought when initially playing Own Side Now, that with the backing vocals of Skylar Wilson on the CD, the two of their voices in harmony reminded me strongly of the McGarrigle Sisters. Whatever, it is quite engaging and idiosyncratic.

There’s a freshness and rawness to her sound, no doubt due to her lack of experience, but Caitlin has been hyped to be the next big thing in Alt Country. Those few who attended her show last night would certainly agree that she shows enormous promise, I look forward to seeing her again in the future and am curious to hear her next album whenever that eventuates.

Set List

  1. Coming Up
  2. Learnin’ To Ride
  3. Spare Me
  4. New York
  5. Own Side Now
  6. For The Rabbits
  7. That’s Alright (Fleetwood Mac cover)
  8. Shanghai Cigarettes
  9. Sinful Wishing Well
  10. Answer In One Of These Bottles
  11. New song (untitled)
  12. Faithless Love
  13. Things Change
  14. Marie Rosie (according to the set list I picked up from the stage)

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