Out Country Artist Kitty Rose to Play Nashville
Let’s face facts: the Country music of today is a far cry from where it started. The days of legendary artists like Dolly Parton and Loretta Lynn who actually grew up in the countryside and sounded the part in person as well as onstage have given way to airbrushed city girls like Faith Hill and Shania Twain who are about as country as a concrete-and-glass skyscraper. Quality songwriting that gave the real feel of country music has given way to sappy lyricism and overwrought falsity hailing from a boardroom in New York or LA. Non-mainstream Country artistry is a dying art and there are few left to carry on the torch.
Lucky for us there are artists like Kitty Rose. Rose, the reincarnated country alter ego of singer/songwriter Katharine Chase, runs a ranch in the small rural community of Hopland , California , and between riding her horses, herding cattle and other ranch chores, she continues to write, sing, and perform some of the hottest classic country music you'll ever hear. Oh, and did I mention that she’s an out lesbian?
That’s right, in an industry that steadfastly refuses to allow its artists to be out with their lives, Kitty Rose is a defiant breath of fresh air who dares anyone to try and put her in a closet and opens doors everywhere she goes solely on the merit of her talent. “It’s always great to perform and see all of the happy, smiling faces in the audience,” said Rose in a recent phone interview with iOut. “It’s a great time to be out there doing what I’m doing. I have found that most people who see me perform don’t see a gay artist, they see a country singer that they like. My biggest challenge is educating people to the fact that I can be an out lesbian and still live a country life and sing country music. People like Mary Gauthier are proof that out performers can make it and make it well in the Americana and Country music genres.”
Though Rose doesn’t write specifically for a gay or straight audience, her talented “Cowgirl Country” styling was acknowledged by the 2005 Outmusic Awards as Best Debut Female Artist, an honor which she proudly displays for all to see.
“I was totally not expecting to win,” said Rose of the award. “I was totally blown away and it [the award] has really catapulted me into the awareness of a lot of new listeners who might not have heard my work otherwise. This is especially the case with a lot of lesbians who had before been closeted country/western fans. I can’t be happier to be the ambassador for country music in the women’s community.”
Rose’s tongue-in-cheek first release “Greatest Hits” is a collection of originals and three covers spanning the past ten years of her career as a performer and has sold out often when she was the opening act for stalwart Country acts like Aaron Tippin. On “Greatest Hits” Ms. Rose will wow you with her particular brand of traditional Country music that will make you swear she stepped straight out of Loretta’s “Butcher Holler” or Dolly’s “Tennessee Mountain Home” via a stopover at Tammy’s “ Apartment # 9 ”. She tips her hat with style and substance to Patsy Cline without hollow imitation. If you like real Country music that sounds more like Country than Pop and makes you long for rolling hills of red dirt and humid summer days that seem to go on forever, then Kitty Rose is the Country artist for you.Talented Country/Americana artist Kitty Rose will perform February 16 at Douglas Corner, 2601-A 8th Avenue in Nashville as part of Americana Tonight! At 9:30 p.m. She will also perform briefly at Tootsie's Orchid Lounge on Broadway on February 17 at 3 p.m. and again later that night at The 5 Spot, 1006 Forrest Ave in the heart of the Five Points District in East Nashville at 8p.m. For more information on Kitty Rose or to order a copy of “Greatest Hits” please visit www.kittyrose4country.com.