Reviewed by Harry Kaplan
Trends may come and go in music but one thing is for certain: Whitney’s voice is one of the best. She can sing and do more than honky tonk, although she tackles honky tonk like a linebacker. Whitney hits about six genres on Rule 62. Classic country, honky tonk, rhythm and blues, folk, blues, and ’50s rock and roll are all sung prominently. I forgot Tejano, that makes seven. Whitney not only sings these, she takes them up several levels.
Not only does Rule 62 cover a lot of genres, it has a lot of heavy hitters that worked on it. For instance, it was produced by Raul Malo of the Mavericks. That right there is a seal of approval. In addition to Malo, the album was co produced by Niko Bolas, who has either produced, engineered, or mixed almost every artist imaginable. He also produces The Mavericks, which explains the connection.
The players on this album are some of the best in the business, including Paul Deakin (Makericks), Jen Gunderman (The Jayhawks and Sheryl Crow), Kenny Vaughan (Marty Stuart, Lucinda Williams), Chris Scruggs (Ray Price and Robbie Fulks), and Aaron Till (Asleep At The Wheel). That’s a lot of talent on one collection. But the million dollar question, as always, is: does it deliver? And he answer is a resounding yes.
Not only can Whitney write about experiences in her own life, but she shows on Rule 62 that she can write outside her self. Trucker’s Funeral (Track 8) is a perfect example, a song about a trucker’s funeral in Georgia where his family finds out he had a another family in California. A very well written tale with a solid lesson.
That is followed up with a lovely honky tonk number entitled Wake Me In Wyoming (Track 9). A perfect blend of innocence and heartbreak as Whitney shows she can write a great break up song with the best of ’em. The guitar and pedal steel add a dreamy and ethereal quality that blends perfectly with Whitney’s voice.
Rose’s voice is smooth and silky and very pleasing to the ears. Her pipes are strong, yet sensitive. And she writes her own material, which is intelligent and extremely well written and phrased. This young lady is already pro with a very steep trajectory.