Blue Ridge Blood
Reviewed by: Julia Cirignano
Chelle Rose’s newest album Blue Ridge Blood will be playing on repeat in my car this summer, and let you tell you why. Her voice is a mixture of pure frustration, female sass, and strength. Especially during her song “Reckon With The Devil,” Rose’s voice sounds like an angry Courtney Love. She’s a true country singer, but many of the riffs and phrases in her sounds have a strong rock sound.
Chelle Rose is a cowboy in a world where girls can be cowboys. Her sounds oozes sarcasm as if it were her major in college. She shoots, and her music bleeds whiskey, leather, and cornbread. Her voice barks and spits as the clean banjo and harsh electric guitar fight for the spotlight.
Rose sings about the struggles of real-life people, such as in her song “Paintsville Table” when she says, “Greedy boss man/He’s gettin’ rich/He’s gettin fat/He don’t lift a finger/He just sits back.” And of course, what’s a country album without a love song? Rose chose to present “Laid Me Down” — a twist on the idea of a classic country love song. While her voice is genuine, and full of heartbreak, the focus on the song is more sexual than a typical country song. Rose pushes the limit, and creates a country love song for a new generation that is far more open to sexual freedom and expression of sexuality.
Rose also confronts another generational struggle with her song titled “Hidin’ Hole” which is sprinkled with feminist frustration. This song presents strong, honest lyrics such as, “Just tired of smiling/When all I wanna do is cry/A southern woman ain’t supposed to break down/My daddy told me/No whinin’ allowed.” This song shows not a weak side of Rose, but an honest side that gives even more truth to her strength as her lyrics trudge through her struggle, and many others, with southern female stereotypes.