Interview: Caitlin Rose

By on Monday, 12th July 2010 at 2:00 pm

Jess introduced the rather lovely Caitlin Rose back in January, and we jumped at the chance to sit down and have a chat…

Hello Caitlin, what are you up to today?
I’m cleaning my house and checking for floodwater damage on my old brown couch to see if it’s still useable.

You’re the same age as me, yet you’ve got the amazing songs of someone twice or triple your age. Did you grow up with lots of music in your house? Or have you just stumbled across things and made your own sound as you’ve gone along?
I grew up with all sorts of stuff, but even as an 8 year old I was looking for my favorite music. As a kid I got really into songs from the 1950’s and ’60’s. Oldies 96.3 was my favorite radio station and me and my sister would call in a bunch of times requesting the same Patsy Cline song with different voices. Clever girls.

So many of your songs seem to be great stories (like Shotgun Wedding), where do you get the ideas for the stories?
I don’t really make anything up. It’s mostly real life aside from obvious allusions or beastial comparisons. Real life is interesting enough, I just make it rhyme.

So far, have you preferred recording the music or playing it live more?
I play a lot more than I record. I never quite figured out self recording. I’d probably end up smashing a 4-track if you left one in front of me for too long, but in the studio it’s different. I love to make an album.

Before you go on stage do you have any weird and wonderful rituals?
Other than only rehearsing the day of a show? Nope.

What would be a cool location you’d like to do a gig at?
I want to play on a stage at the Parthenon in Nashville. Like Ronee Blakely in the final scene of Altman’s “Nashville” without the gun violence. I’d also love to play at the Ryman and on the Conan’O’Brien show. It’s really more about who I get to play with than where, but a show at Gruene Hall In New Braunfels, TX would make my mama proud.

What’s laying ahead for you for the rest of 2010?
I’m flying over for festivals in Europe and the UK and some club dates in between. I’m there till at least the end of September, perhaps longer. Then I’ve got ACLfest in Austin, TX and my mom is having a giant wedding reception for her Vegas wedding I didn’t get to go to.

When I get home I’d like to get a little studio time to start working on a new record. Songs are easier to finish when you’re about to record them.

Finally, what TV, films, books and music are you really enjoying at the moment?
No cable. I’ve only got 15 or so channels. I watch the news and public access and some Simpsons, but mostly nothing. I go to my mom’s house to catch up on True Blood though.

I just finished “Carry My Bones” by J. Wes Yoder. He grew up in Franklin, TN like me. It was very good. I’m currently deciding who to lend that to next and starting on William Carlos Williams’ “In the American Grain” which is like a more inventive, re-imagined history of America.

A friend brought me Stones in Exile on DVD for my birthday last month and I’ve watched that a few times. Bobby Keys is hysterical.

I’m a big Mumford and Sons fan. Their show at Bonnaroo sealed the deal for me. Great band.

I’m stuck on Joanna Newsom’s “Have One on Me”. It’s deeply personal in a similar way to Joni Mitchell’s “Blue”.

“Here’s to Taking it Easy”, Phosphorescent’s newest, is a perfect evolution in everything they already do well. I could listen to it all day(and do). Aptly titled.

For more classic fare, Guy Clark’s “Old No 1” is on heavy rotation. People don’t talk about him as much as they should. This record is perfect. “Let Him Roll” played three times on Father’s day, per my dad’s request and I couldn’t complain. Great tune.

Sugar Hill just put out a Shel Silverstein tribute called “Twistable Turnable Man” produced by Bobby Bare Sr. & Jr. It’s got covers from John Prine, My Morning Jacket, Lucinda Williams, Ray Price and Kris Kristofferson just to name a few and is well worth the purchase.

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