The debut EP by country, rock, soul siren Little Helen Rose is steeped in tradition. Ironically enough, that is what makes Rose’s Live at The Monkey Room so refreshing. The 4 song EP captures Little Helen Rose at her most sincere, recorded live with no overdubs, no fixes – all in one take.
At a young age, Rose learned to play classical saxophone and became enveloped vocally in the lyrical and harmonic depth of old time folk music. Yet, it wasn’t until she was encouraged to improvise in a high school jazz class when she realized it was the blues that her “bones have been waiting for”. The EP starts with “Trouble Hiding Back”, a swampy blues song with a gentle down-home boogie. “In My Time of Dying” begins like a track off voodoo-blues king Dr. John’s album with Black Key Dan Auerbach; the macabre horns matching the songs dark lyrics, “In my time of dying…all I want from you is to take my body home.” Live at The Monkey Room is nothing short of a living, breathing document.
“My intent was to really dig deep and play the music how it was meant to be played”, says Rose, “Without any alterations—just raw and real.”
RIYL: The Black Keys, Alabama Shakes, Dr. John, Neko Case, Janis Joplin, John Lee Hooker, Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings
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Label: Self Released