All of a sudden Nashville is full of Women Who Will Save Country Music, impressive young female artists who are either reminding soft-rocking cowboys what real hard country sounds like (Ashley Monroe) or twangy voiced singer songwriters with razor sharp writing skills (Kacey Mugraves) with a way of making songs about no-hope dead end towns rhyme without settling for sentimental bromides.
Caitlin Rose, who plays Milkboy Philly tonight, is a slightly more complicated case. The Stand-In, Rose's second album, just out on ATO Records, also harkens back to the country stylings of yore, but songs like the stinging "Silver Sings" and melancholy steel guitar kissed "Dallas" (not the Jimmie Dale Gilmore song, but a Felice Brothers song) nod to the Nashville Sound of Chet Atkins and Owen Bradley in their 50s and 60s heyday.
Rose, whose mother Liz has written big hits with Taylor Swift, is a sophisticated writer who, with the help of Deep Vibration, the indie band that backs her, and co-writers like Gary Louris of The Jayhawks, rocks out when she wants to but also can navigate an interior monologue on a sea of strings on "Golden Boy" without ever getting too sticky sweet. I caught her playing a short set with a bad sound mix in Austin, Texas last month (that's where the picture comes from), so I'm kind of stoked to see her at Milkboy tonight, where she'll be going on close to 11.
Below, Rose and band play the newly christened Nashville book and record store Grimeys, Too.