Country-music has had a bit of a rough ride in the UK of late, with very little of it filtering through to radio and its audience. Save for the classic singers and the squeaky-clean sounds of Lady Antebellum, we've turned our back on tales of driftwood, deserted towns, cowboys and clichés that ran rampant through the risible '90s US exports, save for the excellent Jayhawks.
But wait, there's hope. Caitlin Rose from Nashville is on a mission - to bring the maligned genre back to the mainstream without compromising on finely-crafted songs, lyrical twists and attitude. Previously a singer with forgotten indie band Save Macaulay, Rose's heart lies in the revered vocalists within and around the genre such as Patsy Cline, Stevie Nicks, Judy Collins and Loretta Lynn. Her first album "Own Side Now" was a low-budget high-quality debut that snuck by without huge fanfare, but didn't go unnoticed by critics.
For 2012, Rose has been finishing-off her second album with none other than Jayhawks luminary Gary Louris. "The Stand-In" follows on from her Arctic Monkeys' covers-single issued for Record Store Day and shows Rose growing up and broadening her palette with a bigger more polished sound. Her band have blossomed, her scope has widened (elements of other genres such as rock and jazz creep into the mix) and Louris has chops as a songwriter anyway - he co-wrote two of the offerings.
That very same band will be accompanying the young singer on a short tour next year, starting in Brighton on 25th February, followed by Bristol, London, Leeds and Manchester on 1st March. Tickets are on sale now, priced from £10 upwards. Well worth catching!