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Sep 30th 2021 7:30 pm
$18-$25 Website 6103323378
Presented by: ArtsQuest
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Date(s) - Sep 30th 2021
7:30 pm

Musikfest Cafe presented by Yuengling


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Doors and Dinner: 6:30 p.m. | Show: 7:30 p.m.
$10 minimum Food and Beverage for all reserved seating.

The third album from Maggie Rose, Have a Seat is the work of a phenomenally gifted artist showing the full extent of her power. After years of honing her chops and making her name as a force-of-nature vocalist, the Nashville-based singer/songwriter has dreamed up her own unbridled collision of rock-and-roll, soul, folk, funk, and R&B: a fittingly eclectic sound for a musician whose live experience includes opening for Heart and Joan Jett & the Blackhearts, touring as direct support for Kelly Clarkson, and sharing the Cayamo Cruise bill with Emmylou Harris and Jason Isbell—all in 2019 alone. Centered on the stunning vocal command she’s revealed in taking the stage at The Grand Ole Opry over 80 times, Have a Seat finds Rose approaching her music with more confidence and clarity of vision than ever, ultimately sharing a selection of songs both timeless and urgent.

Produced by Ben Tanner of Alabama Shakes, Have a Seat came to life at the iconic FAME Studios in
Muscle Shoals, AL. In a series of pre-pandemic sessions, Rose recorded live with a lineup of
heavy-hitters that includes bassist David Hood of the Swampers (the group of session musicians
who played on records from legends like Aretha Franklin and Etta James) and guitarist Will
McFarlane (Bonnie Raitt, Levon Helm), along with her longtime bandmates/collaborators Larry
Florman (background vocals/percussion), Alex Haddad (guitars), and Sarah Tomek (drums) of
Them Vibes. Also featuring an esteemed string section and swampy horn ensemble—in a way that’s
never been so integral to Rose’s sonic aesthetic—Have a Seat continues the free-flowing musical
exploration she first began on her powerhouse 2018 album Change the Whole Thing. “I had the idea of
recording at FAME in the back of my mind throughout the entire writing process for this project,”
says Rose, who first visited the studio upon performing as part of the Muscle Shoals to Music Row
program in late 2018. “I took a lot of inspiration from the Aretha Franklin and Wilson Pickett
records that came out of that very room, playing up my R&B sensibilities more than ever and really
tapping into my soul and its connection to this music.”

Like any great soul singer, Rose beautifully captures the tensions of the current moment, gently
presenting her pensive social commentary while providing much-needed reprieve from the everyday
chaos. “These songs were written during a contentious time, and there are undertones to the lyrics
that are influenced by the state of our world politics and the politics of the music industry,” she says.
“The title Have a Seat is responsorial, placing an emphasis on inclusivity—like, ‘Here, sit down. Let’s
try talking to each other.’ One of the most loving things we can do is listen and make others feel
heard—give people the space to speak their mind and be themselves. However, there’s also an
intended meaning to the title that points to the power in occupying the seat that’s designated to you:
I am claiming a seat I believe is rightfully mine, and I want others to do the same.”

One of the lead singles to Have a Seat, “For Your Consideration” arrives as a full-hearted plea for
understanding and compassion, its smoldering verse and stormy chorus brilliantly mimicking the
back-and-forth of a heated argument. “When I wrote that song I’d just been in L.A. and seen all the
billboards on Sunset for some awards show that was about to happen,” says Rose. “I decided to
repurpose the phrase ‘For Your Consideration’ to make it about the aftermath of a fight, where the
people are so caught up in saying what they want to say that they never actually listen to each other.”

The slow-burning opening track to Have a Seat, “What Are We Fighting For” offers a gorgeous
introduction to the album’s message of loving solidarity, its power intensified by Rose’s tender yet
mighty vocals and the soul-soothing harmonies of Karita Law and Shanay Johnson (a duo known
for their work with Brittany Howard and Emily King). On “Do It,” Rose veers into a brighter
mood, bringing fiery horns and breezy rhythms to a personal mission statement she sums up as
“doubling down on being an individual.” With its ethereal textures and hypnotic guitar tones,
“Saint” unfolds as a delicate refusal to succumb to the expectations of others. (“That song’s about
admitting to not being perfect and being okay with that,” says Rose. “It’s something we should stop
expecting of women—because women are many things, and saintly is not a requirement.”) And on
tracks like “Are We There Yet”—a crystalline piece of symphonic pop graced with lush and
luminous string work—Rose ventures into unsparing self-reflection. “‘Are We There Yet’ is a song
about the way we all torture ourselves with our ambitions,” she says. “Instead of always thinking
about the next thing I want to go out and get, I’m trying to just focus on enjoying what I already
have—which is really pretty great.”

With its standouts also including “What Makes You Tick” (a gloriously funky track co-written with
and featuring blues guitarist and Grammy nominee Marcus King), Have a Seat finds Rose boldly
elevating her songwriting and sound while reclaiming the joyful freedom of her early years. Growing
up in Maryland, she cut her teeth sneaking into nearby bars to sing with a Bruce Springsteen cover
band at the age of 16, then moved to Nashville several years later after being discovered as a
potential breakout country star. Although she soon achieved major success on Music Row and
earned acclaim from the likes of the New York Times—who hailed her as a “sturdy
heartbreaker…full of astute, aggrieved songwriting…and attitude that even in the post-Miranda
Lambert era feels knifelike”—Rose grew increasingly restless within the confines of country. After
expanding her musical palette on Change the Whole Thing, she found herself embraced by luminaries in
the rock and pop and Americana worlds, and even became massively beloved by the jam-band
community (thanks in no small part to her exhilarating performance at the Peach Music Festival in
2019). Quickly gaining recognition as a fiercely independent artist, she was eventually tapped by
Osiris Media to create “Salute the Songbird with Maggie Rose”: a weekly podcast based on candid
conversations between Rose and her favorite female trailblazers in music, including Martina
McBride and Go-Go’s bassist Kathy Valentine.

For Rose, the charmed experience of recording in Muscle Shoals has catalyzed the start of a thrilling
new era in her musical evolution. “Working with musicians of that caliber and knowing they were
giving my music so much attention definitely made me thrive,” she says. “I felt so safe going deep
into the emotional places within the songs, and I think you can feel that love and camaraderie when
you listen to the record.” At the same time, Have a Seat is undeniably the sound of an artist fully
coming into her own, without concession or compromise. “I’ve worked in this industry for over a
decade, and I feel like I’ve finally carved out a lane that’s genre-bending and all my own,” she says.
“I had to really fight to find that space for myself, and this record is my way of staking my claim.”