Rosehill

By Bob Doerschuk

© 2011 CMA Close Up® News Service / Country Music Association®, Inc.

Rosehill’s chiming guitars, sweet steel fills and wide-open duo vocals add up to a sonic panorama that suggests long roads leading far away. But there’s also something homey in this sound, as inviting as a seat at a table filled with friends.

There are two good reasons why Rosehill creates this impression throughout their debut album, White Lines and Stars. The first has a lot to do with geography. It was in Cypress, just off the Northwest Freeway near Houston, that Mitch McBain and Blake Myers started a band back in 2003. The group, Texas High Life, spent five years working the club circuit throughout Texas, honing their alt-Country style and stage presentation.

More importantly, it provided a vehicle for McBain and Myers to develop their synchronicity as singers and writers. They’d been juggling THL gigs with college classes; on finishing their academic obligations, they hunkered down to a biweekly schedule of hatching new material. The more they wrote, the clearer it was that they were headed toward something centered more on their partnership.

That’s the second reason White Lines and Stars is what it is. Produced by Radney Foster and Jay Clementi and released by Cypress Creek Records, these 11 tracks range from spacious to infectiously upbeat, yet all of them feature lyrics that speak directly to each listener’s experience. The title cut and first single, which Myers wrote with Clementi and George Ducas, unfolds like a highway under prairie skies; references to Opry fiddles and preachers on the radio mingle in a stream of sensory images with the rhythm of a sleeping lover’s breath. “It ain’t the destination, babe, it’s the ride,” they sing, bringing us back to images we’ve dreamed before.

As co-writers on all but three of these tracks, McBain and Myers meet this standard of craftsmanship consistently. And they harmonize intuitively, sing solo parts expressively and, best of all, know how to turn a strong lyric into an even stronger listening experience. Already, the view from Rosehill is something to behold.

IN THEIR OWN WORDS Q&A

MUSICAL HERO
McBAIN: “Ryan Adams.”
MYERS: “John Lennon.”

FAVORITE FOOD ON THE ROAD
BOTH: “Whataburger hamburgers.”

WORD YOU SAY OVER AND OVER AGAIN
BOTH: “Booyah.”

SONG YOU SING IN THE SHOWER
McBAIN: “Anything and everything.”
MYERS: “Nothing.”

SONG YOU WISH YOU’D WRITTEN
McBAIN: “The entire Dark Side of the Moon album, by Pink Floyd.”
MYERS: “‘Hallelujah,’ by Leonard Cohen.”

DREAM DUET PARTNER
BOTH: “Emmylou Harris”

WHAT YOU WOULD BE IF NOT AN ARTIST
McBAIN: “Pro wakeboarder.”
MYERS: “Football coach.”

On the Web:www.Rosehill-Live.com

Country Music Association

Rosehill Photo by Twinty Photography/Provided by Country Music Association

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