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Feminine Growl 

Anna Rose doesn't conform to traditional stereotypes of the female—or male—rock star

In honor of the Women's Issue, The Source staffers were polled on their favorite female musicians and singers of all time. Here's a shout out to the lady leaders who've filled our album collections and been pioneers for women in music.

When you lay eyes on Anna Rose, you may not instantly think, "I bet this petite blonde girl will blow my mind with raspy, bluesy rock and roll fire." Fortunately, you would be dead wrong.

"You can be feminine and have a growl in your voice and not be wearing a pushup bra and still make great music," Rose says. "I think that's kind of where I fit in that world, and there're a lot of women out there who are changing that stereotype. It's cool to be a part of that movement."

Rose gladly lists some of the strongest women in music as influences. She considers Patti Smith to be a pioneer and incredible role model. Sheryl Crow showed people you don't have to be 21 years old to make it. Stevie Nicks reigns as an incomparable vocal idol. And for her personally, Janis Joplin, Joni Mitchell and Bonnie Raitt paved the way.

"I've always been a bit of a music history nerd," Rose says. "In order to move the industry forward and move the art form forward, you have to know where you're coming from and what influenced you. For me, I can draw back to blues and early folk music. I think it's really important to know where you're coming from and to have those references."

For her latest recording, Rose intentionally set out to make an EP, which she considered a challenge as an album-artist who loves to make full-length records. She loves sequencing the songs, so pairing it down to six songs was tough.

"Strays in the Cut' (the EP, out in 2016) was really influenced by this period of my life where I felt very 'other' in a way," Rose says. "For me, getting married was a big part of that process."

Rose found that by entering into a traditional form of marriage, a lot of heteronormative ideals were put on her. The white dress and having a baby, for example.

"As a woman it was challenging for me because I don't necessarily subscribe or live within those borders. That process was really challenging for me. This record came a bit out of that. Also, out of feeling a bit 'other' in the music industry. I'm not very easily defined into one genre."

Rose loves rock and roll and the connection between the past, the present and the future. She believes music is one of the only truly universal things. It has its own language that everyone inherently understands. When it comes to "Strays in the Cut," everyone has gone through a time in their life where they feel misunderstood by the people around them, Rose believes.

"I think the thing I love the most about being a performing songwriter is the connection you can make from yourself to a song and from that song to a person you've never met, never spoken to," Rose says. "I think that's a powerful, impactful piece of our culture. Connection is what makes us human, I believe."

Anna Rose & James McCartney

Tues., May 9, 8pm

Volcanic Theatre Pub

70 SW Century Dr., Bend

$15/adv at bendticket.com

About The Author

Anne Pick

Music Writer | The Source Weekly
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