Photo credit: Ford Fairchild
Nashville-based rock and soul singer-songwriter Maggie Rose has announced the release of her new album. Have A Seat arrives everywhere Friday, August 20 via Starstruck Records. Have A Seat is Rose’s third full-length and was produced by Ben Tanner of Alabama Shakes at the iconic FAME Studios in Muscle Shoals, AL. In a series of pre-pandemic sessions, Rose recorded live with a lineup of heavy-hitters that includes bassist David Hood of the Swampers (the group of session musicians who played on records from legends like Aretha Franklin and Etta James) and guitarist Will McFarlane (Bonnie Raitt, Levon Helm), along with her longtime bandmates/collaborators Larry Florman (background vocals/percussion), Alex Haddad (guitars), and Sarah Tomek (drums) of Them Vibes, as well as guests such as Marcus King, among others. To herald the announcement, Rose has released the fiery-horn-groove stomp of first song “Do It,” which is available today on all streaming platforms.
“The lyrics began pouring out as we were fueled by our convictions,” says Rose. “I remember jotting down lyrics as fast as I could and singing loudly and confidently before having really settled on a structure because where it was going simply felt right. When we brought it into the studio a few months later and Sarah Tomek’s drums locked in with David Hood’s driving bass, Karita Law and Shanay Johnson echoed the chorus lyrics back in harmony—the whole band Ben Tanner helped me assemble was kicking—it felt like a celebration.”
Like any great soul singer, Rose beautifully captures the tensions of the current moment, gently presenting her pensive social commentary while providing much-needed reprieve from the everyday chaos. “These songs were written during a contentious time, and there are undertones to the lyrics that are influenced by the state of our world politics and the politics of the music industry,” she says. “The title Have a Seat is responsorial, placing an emphasis on inclusivity — like, ‘Here, sit down. Let’s try talking to each other.’ One of the most loving things we can do is listen and make others feel heard — give people the space to speak their mind and be themselves. However, there’s also an intended meaning to the title that points to the power in occupying the seat that’s designated to you: I am claiming a seat I believe is rightfully mine, and I want others to do the same.”
Have a Seat is the work of a phenomenally gifted artist showing the full extent of her power. After years of honing her chops and making her name as a force-of-nature vocalist, the Nashville-based singer/songwriter has dreamed up her own unbridled collision of rock-and-roll, soul, folk, funk, and R&B: a fittingly eclectic sound for a musician whose live experience includes opening for Heart and Joan Jett & the Blackhearts, touring as direct support for Kelly Clarkson, and sharing the Cayamo Cruise bill with Emmylou Harris and Jason Isbell — all in 2019 alone. Centered on the stunning vocal command she’s revealed in taking the stage at The Grand Ole Opry over 80 times, Have a Seat finds Rose approaching her music with more confidence and clarity of vision than ever, ultimately sharing a selection of songs both timeless and urgent.
For Rose, the charmed experience of recording in Muscle Shoals has catalyzed the start of a thrilling new era in her musical evolution. “Working with musicians of that caliber and knowing they were giving my music so much attention definitely made me thrive,” she says. “I felt so safe going deep into the emotional places within the songs, and I think you can feel that love and camaraderie when you listen to the record.” At the same time, Have a Seat is undeniably the sound of an artist fully coming into her own, without concession or compromise. “I’ve worked in this industry for over a decade, and I feel like I’ve finally carved out a lane that’s genre-bending and all my own,” she says. “I had to really fight to find that space for myself, and this record is my way of staking my claim.”
In January of this year, Rose debuted her new podcast, Salute the Songbird with Osiris Media. The interview-based podcast invites listeners into Rose’s world as an independent artist in a male-dominated music industry. She hosts enlightening conversations with her female musical heroes, opening up about their lives in and out of music, challenging the status quo, and changing the game for women who come up behind them.
On February 14, Rose hosted a special Valentine’s Day live concert and taping of her podcast, featuring singer-songwriter Elizabeth Cook. The event was livestreamed on Nugs.net and broadcast on AAA Station of the Year, Lightning 100. The full event is available to view now on Rose’s Youtube channel.