Slow and steady wins the race. So the old adage goes, although it is one that rings especially true for Canadian country music sweetheart Whitney Rose.
A native of Prince Edward Island native that now calls Toronto home, Rose – performing a free concert at Riverview’s Caseley Park on Wednesday evening – measures her success in a variety of ways.
One of the newest measures of success will be evident this weekend when Rose performs at the region’s largest country music events, the Cavendish Beach Music Festival. Her performance will mark the first time that she will be gracing the main stage of the festival, playing alongside country heavyweights including Keith Urban and her pals The Mavericks.
The show is quite the step-up from her last Cavendish Beach festival appearance in 2013 when she played one of the side stages.
“The Cavendish festival will be a little different this year with me playing the main stage,” Rose says. “That’s not to say playing the festival in the past wasn’t exciting, this just feels especially good. It’s encouraging, like a nice little nudge, because you want to see that you’re making progress.
“It has been a bit of a slow built up to this point, but it has been a steady progression, especially in terms of the audience I’m fortunate enough to perform for, as well as the quality of the shows we are playing. I’m happy with the way things are going. I would much rather build upon something that is more concrete rather than finding success too quickly, as the latter doesn’t always sustain itself.”
Given the strength of her latest album, Heartbreaker Of The Year, Rose’s ascent to fame could very well be fast-tracked. A country album that owes more to Connie Francis and Patsy Cline than Miranda Lambert, the record came together in a fairly quick manner, having been recorded in a whirlwind four days at a Toronto recording studio.
Joining Rose in the studio were members of acclaimed group The Mavericks, with whom she was touring around the time of recording.
“After having done a string of dates with The Maverick in November 2013 and the spring of 2014, I had finally worked up the courage to ask if [Mavericks vocalist] Raul [Malo] would be interested in helping produce the record.
“The whole recording process ended up being totally serendipitous as there was a window of five days off from the tour during which the group had just planned to go home. Instead, they joined me in the studio, which ended up proving to be a fascinating learning experience for me. I knew that I was in good hands with those guys in my corner,” Rose says.
Of course, it is not just The Mavericks that have stood up and taken notice of Rose’s formidable talent.
Late last month, she scored an impressive feature with Rolling Stone Magazine, which highlighted the smouldering Heartbreaker Of The Year song “Be My Baby,” a cover of the classic Ronettes tune, sung as a duet with Malo. Having secured press from such an influential music news source as Rolling Stone only furthers Rose’s resolve that her music career will unfold the way it was meant to go.
As zen as her outlook may be, the press couldn’t have arrived at a better time, with Heartbreaker Of The Year scheduled for release south of the border on August 21. She will make her American live debut in mid-September when she performs at Nashville’s Americana Fest alongside noted acts such as Los Lobos and fellow Canadians Corb Lund and Daniel Romano.
“Had this opportunity been presented to me as recently as last year, I think I would have felt overwhelmed at the prospect of playing to audiences in Nashville,” Rose says. “Incidentally, I feel better prepared for it now because these shows, like all of my shows, will be the combination and culmination of everything that I have learned over the last two years. I feel more confident, both as a performer and as a person.”
What: Whitney Rose
When: Wednesday July 15, 7 p.m.
Where: Caseley Park, Riverview
This concert is free and open to all ages. In the event of rain, the show will move to the Riverview Community Hall, located at 145A Lakeside Dr.