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Whitney Rose Whitney Rose
Album: South Texas Suite
Label: Thirty Tigers
Tracks: 6

One of the most eagerly awaited records of 2017, mostly because the previous ep, 'Heartbreaker of the Year' was mighty fine, and partly because the true country music fraternity wanted to see if Rose really is the real deal. Sighs of relief all round, the new ep 'South Texas Suite' is both brilliant and solidly real.

With a voice like smooth mellow whiskey, she's equally beguiling and entrancing, opening with a Mexican feeling accordion bar room shuffler, lifting over the wall to South of the Boarder. Rose is clearly part of that group of resurgent country women, unapolyigetic, sassy, singly minded and hugely popular despite the Nashville machine.

Old fashioned, gloriously, throwback country of Dolly, Kitty and Loretta, her sad voice lends itself to breaking up, booze and importantly for the genre, breaking hearts. 'My Boots', about a first trip home to meet a boy's mother for the first time is a proper ripper of a tune, a thoroughly modern ballad - with a spanker of a piano break.

It is her contemporary take on country and song writing that is 'real' - and that might just save country.

Rudie Humphrey