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WHITNEY ROSE & MARGO CILKER + Patrick Maguire
Appearing Live at Moes Alley
Wednesday, April 3rd
2019 Ameripolitan Award Winner For "Best Honky Tonk"
8:00 PM, Doors Open 7:30 PM, $8 Advance, $12 Day Of Show,

Moe's Alley presents a special double bill with Whitney Rose + Margo Cilker and featuring special guest opener Patrick Maguire.  Whitney just won best Honky Tonk female artist at the 2019 Ameripolitan awards, and will be touring with her full live band.

ABOUT WHITNEY ROSE - There are many useful rules to live by, but for Whitney Rose, there’s one that stands alone as a guiding principle for life as she knows it: Rule 62. The origin of the rule is best summed up by the poignant, pronoun-adjusted excerpt from Alcoholics Anonymous’ Tradition Four cited above, a treatise on how to find harmony between ambition and self-awareness, and how to learn one’s lessons with humor and humility. This truism, officially worded as “Don’t Take Yourself Too Damn Seriously,” is the origin of both the title and ethos of Whitney Rose’s forthcoming album, Rule 62.

Rewind to January 2017. Six months ago, Rose was primed to release South Texas Suite, a countrypolitan valentine to Austin, Texas. (Rolling Stone noted that it “bristles with local flavor.”) Days before the EP hit the streets and Rose kicked off a four-month worldwide tour, the burgeoning songwriting force (and “country hair” disciple) packed her boots for Nashville, where she entered BlackBird Studio A to reconvene with the Mavericks’ Raul Malo. In one short week, Rose, Malo and co-producer Niko Bolas channeled the tumult, turbulence and tension outside of the studio into Rose’s sophomore worldwide release, which includes nine self-penned songs. Playful yet uncompromising, Whitney Rose reminds us of popular music’s rich history of strong female voices and perspectives, and on Rule 62, she channels her inner Nancy Sinatra, Bobbie Gentry and Françoise Hardy. Rule 62 finds Rose “breaking up with patriarchy,” a breakup evidenced by new songs that show verve, swagger and self-assurance in Rose’s instinctive sense of tone, broadened scope and attention to detail.

Consider “Can’t Stop Shakin’” in the context of the day it was recorded: January 20, 2017. With Malo on harmonies and rhythm guitars, Kenny Vaughn on lead guitar, and saxophones and organ in the mix, “Can’t Stop Shakin’” was originally written as an anti-anxiety treatment in Memphis soul dance party form. Against an ominous political backdrop, the song now reverberates with an undercurrent of uncertainty and anger that reframes the self-calming shimmy as an act of protest. “’Can't Stop Shakin’ started out as something I would sing to calm myself down.” Rose says. “We recorded that song on Inauguration day and you could physically feel the divide between the public and the unrest in the air. I was in the studio that week every day for twelve hours on average, so realized my contribution was going to have to take place within the walls of Blackbird. So the song that started as a personal anthem got a rewrite that day.”

Rule 62’s “breakup” theme can be felt in songs like “Arizona” and “Time to Cry,” two fiery, merciless tunes that show Rose at the end of her rope with the manipulation and discrimination of women in the music business and beyond. “For reasons unbeknownst to me at the time, I started writing all these “breakup” songs that were mostly angry. I wasn’t sure where all these feelings were coming from until one day it hit me like a ton of bricks that I was penning these songs to society,” she observes. These sharp-tongued send-offs come with a good dose of humor, and the result is a reassuring sense that Rose isn’t letting anything grind her down.

Rose’s rising resilience underpins the message of “Better to My Baby,” a standout song that puts into practice the spirit and the letter of the album title. A tuneful take on moving on, the song is a measured spin on the traditional volatility of regret and jealousy that accompanies the end of a relationship. “Better To My Baby” also showcases Rose’s adept handling of ’60s pop conventions in its proud girl group nods: tinkling piano, buoyant harmonies and rueful romanticism.

Rule 62 is Rose’s second release of 2017, and sees the songwriter’s increased output matched by increased distinction. With so much touring now under the tires, it’s no surprise that Rose’s best work yet often explores her journeywoman’s experience. “Meet Me in Wyoming” and “Trucker’s Funeral” are emblematic of Rose’s clever study of the musician-as-trucker analogy. “Trucker’s Funeral,” a Dolly-caliber yarn with a stranger-than-fiction twist, is in fact a true story: “I had a meeting at Bank of America here in Austin last year and when the meeting was over the teller told me about going to his grandfather’s funeral here in Texas,” Rose recounts. “He found out he had a full second family on the West Coast. His grandfather was a trucker and always on the road, so neither family had any idea. As he was telling me this story, I was jotting down lyrics on my banking papers because it was just too intriguing an experience not be made into a song.”

MARGO CILKER’s got a farewell song for every place she’s lived. Margo Cilker has lived a lot of places: she “used to be Montana, wild and free,” she’s “a California dogwood, not sure where I belong,” “the worst crime [she] commits is hesitation- waitin’ on that Bilbao precipitation.” Since “finishing her studies” in Clemson, South Carolina in 2015 and releasing her debut EP Boots and Spain and Boots Again, the native Californian apprenticed herself to the songwriter’s trade in true vagabond style: move to Spain and busk all over Europe a la Ramblin’ Jack, sing a duet on a Spanish Honky-Tonk band’s recording of an Ernest Tubb classic (“Nails in my Coffin,” with Dead Bronco), front a Lucinda Williams tribute band in Bilbao, make a record in England (2017’s Field Heat EP) and tour Europe with a band of Flatt-and-Scruggs-obsessed Englishmen, then come home and milk cows on an organic farm in Petaluma - and make another record.

2018’s California Dogwood EP is Cilker weighing the cost of a life spent honing a craft and carving out a space to call home. There’s the rambling, meditative title track’s offer to “come back with me if you want to, we can start our country life - I’ve got the will and I've got the tractor, I wanna be your singing country wife,” and Bilbao Precipitation’s brutally honest look at the dark corners of making a life in art: “Sometimes having songs to sing feels like a torture, calling out to other poets: tell me your secrets, I’ll trade you all of my bad habits for your diseases- maybe we'll write songs then.” Cilker writes songs that philosophize hard work, heartbreak, and wanderlust with the reverence of a country music obsessive and the sharp-eyed clarity of one who was not born into country music but had to find it (and live it) for herself. She picks an acoustic like Woody Guthrie at his most fervently righteous and sings with the control and focus of a voice that has earned its edges in dive bars and busking pitches. Cilker hasn’t slouched on stateside touring, either: she played over 100 shows in 2017, and is on track for as many in 2018 including Red Ants Pants Music Festival (MT), Offbeat Festival (NV), and Oregon Country Fair. Last we heard, Cilker was calling her native California home again and her band The Cargo Milkers was headlining shows for Barna Howard, Elijah Ocean, and Caleb Caudle… But don’t expect her to stick around long. She is, after all, “an uneasy woman".

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