Eileen Rose & The HWB + Jesse James & Brazilbilly
Eileen Rose (born 1965) is an American singer-songwriter who is known for her eclectic Americana music. She has released five solo studio albums and toured Europe and the US extensively with her band The Holy Wreck. She is also a member of the band The Silver Threads.
Born Eileen Rose Giadone, in the north Boston suburb of Saugus, Massachusetts, Rose grew up in a close-knit Italian-Irish American family with five older sisters and three brothers. She started writing songs as a teenager and taught herself to read music and play the guitar. Waitressing to put herself through college, Rose began to study criminal law, but gave it up to begin performing on the local Boston music scene. She released a self-funded folk album and fronted the indie-rock bands Daisy Chain, Medici Slot Machine and then Fledgling.
1991-2003: UK and Rough Trade years
In 1991, Rose moved to the UK, living in north London. With Fledgling, she played on the London club circuit and toured the US east coast. Fledgling signed to Nine Inch Nail’s TVT label and released one self-titled album in 1995, before disbanding. The Fledgling song “August” featured on the soundtrack of the Sandra Bullock / Denis Leary movie Two If By Sea. When Fledgling split, Rose moved into an old cottage on a dairy farm in Essex and began to write and demo what she has described as “very personal songs” that would form the core of her first two albums. After a year or two, she decided to try performing them solo and started booking gigs. At a gig at the Weavers Arms, Rose was approached by Larry Love of Alabama 3, leader of the headlining Larry Love Show Band. He liked her set and offered his band to back her for a few shows. Geoff Travis from the seminal UK record label Rough Trade Records saw them play and offered Rose a solo deal. Rose released two albums and an EP on Rough Trade, both of which were well received by critics.
Rose’s debut album, Shine Like It Does, was originally released in the UK in October 2000. The record was recorded in Monnow Valley studio, near Monmouth in Wales, and featured three members of Alabama 3 – guitarist Mark Sams, keyboard player Orlando Harrison and Simon “Sir Eddie Real” Edwards on drums. David Bull, the lead guitarist in Fledgling, and Barry Payne, the former bass player for Wreckless Eric, also played on it. The album was engineered an co-produced by Jerry Boys (The Beatles, Pink Floyd and Buena Vista Social Club.) Shine Like It Does was re-released in 2001, with a different cover and shrink-wrapped with a new EP. The Party Dress EP was recorded with Iain Harvie of (Del Amitri) and Kris Dollimore (Del Amitri, The Godfathers) in their studio in Rochester, Kent. US label Compass, run by Grammy-winning banjo-player Alison Brown, adding three of the tracks from that EP to Shine when they released it in the US that April.
The song “Shining”, which gives Shine Like It Does its title, featured in the Disney movie The Rookie and is also on the soundtrack album along with Ryan Adams and Steve Earle. “Lie To Me” was featured in an episode of the TV series Felicity.
In October 2000 Rose opened for Ryan Adams on his UK tour. She started 2001 with a three-week residency at London’s Borderline club, then toured the UK with Eddi Reader. She opened for Ron Sexsmith on his US tour in July 2001, and his tour of Ireland that November.
Rose’s second album, Long Shot Novena, was released in February 2002 through Rough Trade in the UK and Compass records in the US. It was recorded at Troy Town Studios in Rochester, Kent, with Harvie and Dollimore using guest musicians including Bull, Payne, Harrison and Del Amitri drummer Mark Price. The Sex Pistols’ Glen
Matlock and The Ruts’ Seggs both feature on bass. Novena saw Rose experimenting with sequencing and drum programming for the first time. The UK’s Daily Mirror newspaper described the album’s sound as ““Spit ‘n’t sawdust country filtered through the Velvet Underground”. In support of the album, Rose toured the US with Frank Black and Ed Harcourt.
2003-2008: homecoming, Come The Storm and At Our Tables
In 2003, Rose returned to live in the US. She taught herself to play the piano and went to Martha’s Vineyard to write new songs over the winter. The resultant album, Come the Storm was recorded at the famous Long View Farm studios in Massachusetts with local musicians including guitarist Seth Goodman. It was released in the UK on Banana Records in October 2005. In the US, Judy Collins personally offered to put it out on her own label, Wildflower Records, and it received a 2007 release.
Rose released her fourth album, At Our Tables, in Europe through Evangeline Records on 10 March 2008. Recorded in Detroit, it was co-produced by Al Sutton, who has worked with Sheryl Crow and Kid Rock, and Eric Hoegemeyer (Charm Farm, Kid Rock, Uncle Kracker). It was recorded with members of Rose’s touring band, The Holy Wreck – guitarists Bull and Goodman, Nicholas Giadone Ward on bass – and members of local bands Sponge and Detroit Cobras. Nick Lucassian of Detroit band Shipwreck Union sings a vocal duet with Rose on the track “Will-O’-The-Wisp”.
The song “$20 Shoes” received over 500,000 views on YouTube when someone paired it up with a Betty Boop cartoon. In the UK, BBC Radio 2’s Bob Harris playlisted “Doesn’t Mean A Thing”, and invited Rose to record a session for his show.
Rose asked guitarist and pedal steel player Rich Gilbert (known for his work with Boston bands Human Sexual Response and The Zulus, and later with Tanya Donelly and Frank Black and the Catholics), to join her band for the At Our Tables tour.
In September 2008, At Our Tables was re-released with an additional live CD of tracks off the album which was recorded at Long View Farm studios with the touring Holy Wreck band – Gilbert, Ward, and James Murray on drums. At the same session, the band recorded “Live At Longview”, a limited edition CD featuring re-worked versions of old songs and demo versions of some new songs, which was self-released and sold at shows.
2009-present: Nashville, Luna Turista and The Silver Threads
At the end of 2008, Rose relocated to Nashville, TN and started to work with local musicians including Gilbert and drummer Nate Stalfa, known for his work with Knock Down Society and Caitlin Carey. The three played live together a lot, and previewed songs from Rose’s forthcoming album on a European tour in May 2009.
Rose recorded her fifth studio album, Luna Turista, with Gilbert and Stalfa and released it under the name of Eileen Rose & The Holy Wreck. The record features Joshua Hedley, who plays fiddle with Justin Townes Earle, on fiddle and vocals, and Aaron Oliva on bass. It was recorded half at the Fry Pharmacy in Nashville, and half in Berlin during the May 2009 tour. Rose and Gilbert produced, and the album was mixed by Rob Clark, who works with Neil Young and produced Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young’s Deja Vu. It includes nine original Rose compositions and a cover of the country classic “Luckenbach, Texas” was a hit for by Waylon Jennings in 1977. Luna Turista was released in Europe on Floating World (an offshoot of Evangeline) on 4 October 2009. Rose, Gilbert, Stalfa and Hedley toured Europe in support of the release in October/November, and Rose and Gilbert toured Germany again as a duo in October 2010. A US release for Luna Turista is planned for 2011.
In 2010, Rose was invited to contribute a song for the Joey’s Song project. She and Gilbert recorded a version of the old children’s song “Oh Johnny Lebeck”, which features on the first Joey’s Song CD, which was released in January 2011.
When she is not recording or touring her own material, Rose plays on Nashville’s Lower Broad, with her classic country / honky tonk covers band, The Silver Threads. Formed by Rose and Gilbert at the end of 2009, other band members include Johnnie Barber, who previously played drums with Johnny Paycheck and Merle Haggard, and upright bass players Joe Fick (Travis Mann Band) and Zachary Shedd (Hank Williams III). They cover songs by the likes of Connie Smith, Lynn Anderson, Brenda Lee, Loretta Lynn, Ray Price, Buck Owens and Jeanne Pruet. The Silver Threads have weekly residences at Robert’s Western World and Layla’s Bluegrass Inn and they self-released their first album, entitled The Silver Threads, in December 2010.