By now, we’ve all gotten quite comfortable with records being re-released on decade or multi-decade anniversaries. They often get a sonic upgrade of some sort and come with extras in terms of bonus tracks, unseen photos, and historical liner notes. While these projects have likely provided only a little boon to the coffers of those in the record biz, fans, like me, have reaped lots from some exciting packages.
One recent reissue of a local note came for the tenth anniversary of Own Side Now, the precious 2011 debut LP from Caitlin Rose. Her “not-too-country” style and songwriting had a broad appeal and despite seeming to have a good thing going, she went music-silent for eight years following the release of a fine follow-up record, The Stand-In, in 2013.
Thankfully, Caitlin chose to honor the anniversary release with a special one-off show on the Saturday night of Thanksgiving weekend at The 5 Spot in East Nashville. And, while Caitlin would tell us that it had been three years since she had performed, her hand-picked opening act, Loney Hutchins had that beat claiming he’s avoided the stage for the last 40 years!
Hutchins gave us a delightful opening set of songs that he had written or recorded. He also let us in on a bit of his history when he sang one by another songwriter that Loney demoed for Johnny Cash when he worked at the House of Cash. While references were made to Hutchins being part of the Outlaw Country scene, he has a sincere gentle voice that pleases more than provokes. It was great to see how much Loney enjoyed his return to performing and how full of life he still is at the tender age of 75.
Caitlin was supported by a killer ensemble that was highlighted by Jeremy Fetzer (guitar) and Spencer Cullum (pedal steel). Better known as Steelism, these two were in her touring band for four years. She was also joined by Skylar Wilson (keyboards) who produced Own Side Now.
Admittedly, Caitlin was charmingly a bit rusty. And, with the show being filmed for future streaming, she did a few stops and restarts. But, overall, the spark and magic that made us all love her and this album ten years ago was still there.
After playing the ten songs from the record in sequence, she gave us one more with “T-Shirt,” a song from her 2009 debut EP, Dead Flowers. After struggling to get the song going, she called her mom, super-songwriter, Liz Rose, to join her and help put a subtle wrap to the evening.
Special shows like this haven’t happened in Nashville for some time. It was both a revisitation to an artist who has been sorely missed and an introduction to an artist who most of us almost missed. Both sets from Loney and Caitlin were filmed so watch at caitlinrose.com for upcoming details about the stream of the show. I can’t wait to see it again. And there was good news delivered in that Caitlin has a new album in the can for which she is looking for a home. Smart record people should be on alert!