Rewind to February 7, 2020, the date Rolling Stone announced the release of We Still Go to Rodeos, the fifth studio recording from Whitney Rose. None of us could have envisioned the chaotic events that the future held.
The new album, released on April 24, 2020 during the height of pandemic uncertainty was set to take Rose to new plateaus. She was scheduled to perform the Palomino Stage at Stagecoach Music Festival alongside the likes of Billy Ray Cyrus and Lil Nas X. The next major event scheduled was a performance on the main stage of SXSW at Auditorium Shores in her hometown of Austin, Texas sharing the 15,000-person crowd with Margo Price and the Band of Heathens.
Of course, these events were cancelled, along with a headlining circuit of European festivals and months of touring in more than 12 countries.
We Still Go to Rodeos, despite its unintentionally ironic title, went on to receive critical acclaim from sources like American Songwriter, Rolling Stone, No Depression, Saving Country Music, and Billboard. Paste Magazine named it one of the best albums of 2020. (It was produced by Paul Kolderie, whose resume includes projects by Radiohead, The Pixies, Hole, Uncle Tupelo, and many others.)
Now, after almost seven months since its release, Rose is set to perform the songs from We Still Go to Rodeos live and for the first time, virtually.
During the Live Stream Craze of 2020, she held off: it never seemed like the right time to jump in and perform the new songs for the first time in a space overwhelmed with technical difficulties, suspect video quality and audio that’d make Phil Spector turn in his jail bunk.
“I really just had to wait until I was proud of the production to introduce these songs to the world in a live setting,” says the artist. “Normally I’d have played close to 100 shows by now all over North America and Europe. I sure do hope I can get back on the road in 2021 — we have a lot planned — but only time will tell if those plans come to fruition. In the meantime, I hope my fans enjoy what we’ve worked hard to present.”
She’ll be teaming up with The Next Waltz and Bruce Robison to record a live session at The Bunker studio in Lockhart, Texas. Her seven-piece band will feature Lisa Pankratz, Brad Fordham, Dave LeRoy Biller, Rich Brotherton, Trevor Nealon, and Bruce Robison, with wardrobe provided in part by Tecovas fine bootmakers. The music will be recorded using time-tested yet criminally underutilized technologies like live instruments, amplifiers, and microphones, along with vintage 1950s-era reverb plate and real tape, and mixed live to two tracks using “no digital shenanigans.”