Review: Caitlin Rose at The Fleece by Keith Clark 8/10
TEXAS-born Caitlin Rose had brought with her a bunch of musical friends from her adopted home city of Nashville for this welcomed return to this venue.
First up in front of a capacity crowd was Andrew Combs, a fellow Texan now also residing in Nashville, who only did a short set but it was impressive enough to leave you wanting to hear a great deal more.
Combs was accompanied by Nashville guitar wiz Jeremy Fetzer and British pedal steel player Spencer Cullum Jr who later, with the addition of a bass guitarist and drummer, returned to the stage as Steelism.
They played an odd selection of instrumentals that ranged from surf rock to the Dr No theme with the soaring sound of the pedal steel and some tasty guitar work from Fetzer.
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When they returned it was as Caitlin Rose's band.
Her set was, inevitably, dominated by big hooky songs from the new CD, The Stand In, most of them about heartbreak, loneliness, drinking and unanswered telephone calls.
There is a timeless quality about her songs that harked back to old school country stars like Patsy Cline in the case of the slow Golden Boy and to Sixties folk rock with I Was Cruel.
No One To Call, with its crashing opening chords, however, had the grittiness of modern day country giant Lucinda Williams and if the oh-so catchy Only A Clown sounded a little like The Jayhawks it was because it was co-written with their singer Gary Louris.
There was a distinctly jazzy feel about Old Numbers, Waitin' and the Vegas wedding song Pink Champagne.
In complete contrast was her final number, the drinking song Answer In One Of These Bottles, which had everyone singing along.
While her songs were full of emotion she sometimes delivered them in a strangely impassive way.
But you came away with little doubt that this 25 year-old is a hugely talented songwriter and a charismatic performer who is going to be causing the Sold Out signs to go up outside far larger venues than this before too long.