Caitlin Rose has announced the follow up to her excellent debut record, Own Side Now, titled The Stand-In, out on March 5 via ATO. The first time I saw Caitlin live was in Brooklyn last fall, opening for Hayes Carll. It was a cold night but we’d walked across the Williamsburg bridge anyway, and soon came up behind a couple in the middle of a fight on the corner of Bedford and North 5th. “We’re late,” the girlfriend panicked, demanding for her dude, decked out in skinny jeans and a skinner mustache, to hurry up. “I want to see Caitlin Rose,” she cried. Boyfriend wasn’t having it. Boyfriend wanted a beer at Trash Bar first, and he wanted to walk slow. But girlfriend won the fight, and we stood next to them in line at will call as he stared miserably at his trendy wing-tips and smoothed his shirt. Later, after Caitlin’s set, we were behind the couple in line for drinks. “I told you so,” girlfriend said. “I told you she was good.” Boyfriend nodded. “You win,” he responded. “Get our drinks, will you? I’m going to buy her record.” He handed her a twenty and was off to the merch table.
It shouldn’t be a shock to anyone who knows her music that Cailtin’s songs can transform even the most obstinate Brooklyn boyfriend – they tell stories without ever preaching, ring in your head from their simple but unique melodies and not from Music Row tips or tricks and infuse her innate, witty sense of lyricism. Here’s another moment from that show: I had been taken backstage by a publicist friend when Hayes Carll had gone on, who wanted me to meet Caitlin. We spoke for a minute, and then her eyes lit up. She grabbed my arm. “Why are we standing here?” she said, or something of the sort, and pulled me to the side of the stage where we watched Carll perform instead of talking. She listened with the focus of someone who just got their hearing back, even thought it might have been the 110th time she’d heard this song.
So what can we expect from the new record? In the press release, Caitlin stays that “this album could be considered my first attempt at a high kick. We’re not aiming to make indie-sounding records. How boring would that be?” She enlisted Nashville producers Jordan Lehning and Skylar Wilson (Justin Townes Earle), with the aid of bandmates and Steelism-ists Jeremy Fetzer and Spencer Cullum Jr. However it sounds, we can’t wait.
In the meantime, revisit this video of Caitlin’s “Shanghai Cigarettes” :::