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Caitlin Rose - Dead Flowers

Dead Flowers

Caitlin Rose

Available from CC Now.

A review written for the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange
by Mark S. Tucker
(progdawg@hotmail.com).

I've always been a big fan of unusual voices, as evidenced by enthusiasms for Chris Farlowe (here) and Ryan Montbleau (here) over the past month. Caitlin Rose is another entry in that venue of the unorthodox, and the weirdest part is that she's completely believable as the genuine moonshine article. At 20, she sounds like the 14-year old sister or daughter of Ellie Mae Clampett sieved through Olive Oyl straight from the hogbacks and hollers of Tennessee. Listening to Dead Flowers gives the listener the bizarrest blend of Oklahoma, Deliverance, Tom Sawyer, and a hillbilly West Side Story.

Add to all that her ribald, satiric, and jaggedly honest lyrics, and you have a large chunk of rainsoaked, heat-dried, hay baled, god's-honest country music in this 7-cut EP…and make no mistake, this is indeed 100% dyed-in-the-wool country, Jethro, but with such a lively difference that you'll swear you never shook the cartoony heebie-jeebies from last Saturday's debauch. Caitlin Rose is the kinda girl and the kinda singer you just stare wall-eyed at. Can anyone really be that satirically high-styled and still be real? Ab-so-loot-lee, Homer, and neither stage nor film has hosted quite this loopy-but-real a voice. More, Docket has a touch of the ol' Tim Buckley tucked away.

The backing band is pretty damned hot stuff as well, a Gram Parsonsy ensemble that puts the yee-haw and wires-singing-in-the-breeze back in county. As a very cool added bonus, you can order a more blown-out version of several of the songs on the EP in a 7-inch 33-rpm vinyl copy (with a tongue-in-cheek parody of the Velvet Underground's infamous Warhol cover), but the piece de resistance of the entire collection is Rose's CD version of the Rolling Stone's Dead Flowers, a windblown, skykissed, North 40 reading that completely transplants Jagger & Richards from London to Kansas. So, the question is: waddaya do? Get the CD or vinyl? I say grab 'em both, because once you hear one, you'll want the other. Oh, and if you feel your horns gettin' on, don't be surprised, she meant it that way. Miss Rose is earthy and then some, in the fullest sense of the term.

Track List:

CD Version 7-inch Vinyl Version
  • Shotgun Wedding
  • Answer in One of These Bottle
  • Thre Cigarettes in an Ashtray
  • Docket
  • Gorilla Man
  • Dead Flowers
  • T-Shirt
  • Shotgun Wedding
  • Gorilla Man
  • Answer in One of These Bottles
  • Gorilla Man - Pt. 2

Edited by: David N. Pyles
(dnpyles@acousticmusic.com)

Copyright 2008, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
This review may be reprinted with prior permission and attribution.

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