As the second daughter of a country music historian and a Jewish poet, Americana musician and songwriter Raina Rose revels in sharing with you her beautifully twisted, yet refreshingly optimistic perspective on the world. Her unique voice and exceptional guitar playing transcend age, gender, generation, and even catch the ears of those who aren't typically into acoustic guitar-driven songwriting. With a naturalist's eye, an artist's pen, and a lion's attack, Raina lays everything she has on the line; she makes you feel as if she's your best friend whispering a honeysuckle-sweet secret in your ear, warmly inviting you into a joyfully intimate and darkly candid conversation. It's that ability to forge her own path in the world of music that sets Raina apart from her contemporaries, and her “no holds barred, lay it on the line” brand of Americana that secures Raina’s place in music history as more than a mere footnote or a passing trend.
Born in Reagan-era Los Angeles, Raina moved to Portland, OR with her family in 1988. Growing up in a house alive with ‘60s pop and good ole' fashioned country music, Raina was given a guitar at age eleven and sent around the corner for lessons. By the time she hit high school—attending the same school as Elliott Smith and Matt Groening—Raina more often than not shined classes to write heart-wrenching teenage love songs in Portland's lush, green public parks. Upon graduating, Raina moved to the Oregon coast and taught environmental science to youngsters while basking in the majestic silence of 500 acres of ancient forest and foggy beachfront. It was the blissful solitude of this Thoreau-ian lifestyle that made Raina realize she wanted to make music for people, to sing for a living.
Raina has toured relentlessly for the better part of the last ten years, supporting such acts as Jill Sobule, The Bacon Brothers, Loudon Wainwright III and Tracy Grammer, and sharing the stage with contemporaries such as John Elliott, Rebecca Loebe, Jonathan Byrd, AJ Roach, and Anthony da Costa. Now married to bass player, Andrew Pressman (Jimmie LaFave, Sam Baker, Ben Kweller, Carrie Elkin) and a mother of two young boys, Raina tours less often and more succinctly. After 8 years of living in a car and playing over 200 dates a year, this is a welcome change. Her travels have taken her everywhere across the USA and Europe, including such venues and gigs as the High Sierra Music Festival, Vancouver Island Music Festival, The Kerrville Folk Festival, The Cactus Cafe (Austin, TX), The Kessler Theater (Dallas, TX), Club Passim (Boston, MA), and The Birchmere (Alexandria, VA).
Other people have said these things:"American folksinger-songwriter Raina Rose graces us with her soft, unique voice that captures the heart of anyone who listens.” -KUTX, 2014
"Raina Rose: even her name reads like a poem” -william harries graham, The austin chronicle, 2015
"9 out of 10. Caldera is A beautiful and thoughtful triumph of a record… Cold hearts will be warmed.” -by Rudie Humphrey on Americana UK, 2013
"One of the most compelling and appealing albums from North America this year crossed my path.” -Hans Jansen, Folk Lantern
"With four albums already under her belt, Raina returns with ten self-penned songs, each presented with a mature, almost chanteuse delivery and with a voice that melts your senses “ -Allan Wilkinson, Northern Sky 2013
"Raina casts forth images by the basket. Rather than using verses to paint scenes, each couplet may describe a snapshot, a thumbnail. A reviewer should not attempt to match the poetry, using images to describe images. It ain’t gonna work.” -Reverb Raccoon, 2013
"...bursting with talent"
-WFUV NYC, John Platt
"KBCS 91.3 fm Bellevue/Seattle Sean Donovan, The Outskirts: I'm always moved when I sense an artist is leaving everything on the table, and with "When May Came" Raina Rose seems to dig deep for a powerful release. Recorded live over "four sweltering September days in Austin, TX" the album strikes me as immediate, honest and, best of all, lyrically and musically compelling. That's my pick of the week."
"I'm historically not really much of a believer in folk music, singer songwriters, or girls with guitars, but I believe in lovely and immensely talented Raina Rose and can't wait to see what she has up her sleeve next."
-Lindsey Verrill, Annie Street Arts Collective Blog, March 2010
"Graceful and forever creative, Rose with this her fourth full-length album... reaches out to the listener as she twists and turns on striving to dig deep and create imagery of a variety to stay put in the mind of one. Rose’s flair and enthusiasm coupled with an excellent vocal control and strong emotive drive lend a rare dimension to her work all too few female Americana or otherwise posses."
-Maurice Hope on March 15, 2010, Flyin Shoes Review UK
“Raina Rose's third full-length album, When May Came, will surprise you with its cohesion and simplicity. Between her big voice, with its unusual blend of twang and jazziness, and her whimsical sense of storytelling, Rose is definitely not just another boring indie folk songstress.”
-Redefine Magazine, Feb 2010 "a vulnerable vocal performance with great alliterative wordplay.
...an album to sink into, really rather nice."
-Paul Kerr, Blabber n' Smoke blog, March 2010
"It has the immediacy of a record recorded live as well as the energy. "
-Songs Illinois, March 2010
"She’s also come into full bloom on her latest album, When May Came, a delightful collection of heartfelt tunes brimming with sunshine and heartbreak."
-Barbara Mitchell, Oregon Music News March 2010
"Raina Rose's new cd End of Endless False Starts requires the listener to tap the brakes and tune in. It’s not mindless, groove-oriented stuff here, so an appreciation for poetry is a prerequisite."
-Performing Songwriter Top 12 DIY, May/June '09
"The former Portlander has been turning heads for several years now, with her clear, almost delicate voice and storyteller’s soul. With a new album coming out in February, a rapidly growing pile of accolades and a seemingly endless tour on the books, it won’t be long before she’s no longer our little secret."
-Barbara Mitchell, The Oregonian 1-10
"If more clarification is needed, try this one: On the same day I received End of Endless False Starts I also received the mucho hyped discs by U2 (No Line On The Horizon) and Van Morrison's Live Astral Weeks. Two weeks later, she's still in my player alongside the new offerings by Neko Case and Eilen Jewell. Those other guys are up on a shelf somewhere."
-Mike Jurkovich, Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange
"She’s not afraid to get plenty of grit under her fingernails with her words, and her voice has head-spinning potency. I only caught a couple songs, but she sold me."
-Sarah Hagerman, Steam Powered Preservation Society
"Rose's sprightly vocal delivery and sage wordplay hint at the depth and wisdom of an ageless soul"
-Dan Bolles, Vermont's weekly entertainment mag, Seven Days
"The lovely Raina Rose is the shining light in the up and coming folk scene. Her new release “end of endless false starts” is as beautiful as she is."
-Night Flying Publications, Nanny Paddock
"It’s Rose’s latest offering, End Of Endless False Starts, freshly recorded and released this year, that bring focus to her ever-sharpening talent. Stand-outs include the album’s opener, “Are You Still In Love With The World?,” a song in which Rose is quick to reward listeners with a song both rich and poetic. Banjo, fiddle and a lively beat help to bring “Desire” to life, a track that shows off Rose’s sharp word play."
-Robbie McCown, Womenfolk blog, Feb '09
"You jumped on every song like a cat, broke my heart, made me laugh and I knew that I could brag about you to anyone and feel completely justified."
"Portland native Raina Rose is everything a young female folksinger should be...From her late duo the Gypsy Moths to her latest and best-yet CD, The Prophet, the Panhandler, and the Moon, her vocal, guitar and songwriting chops continue to flourish."
-Jeff Rosenberg, Willamette Week, May '07
"If a bottle of champagne could sing, it would sound a lot like Raina Rose: positively effervescent, sparkling with youthful enthusiasm-she's a joy!"
"Her voice is clear and sweet, recalling at times Suzanne Vega or Dirty Martini's McKinley, and even -- when she opts for a slip-and-slide sort of phrasing popular with young female folkies these days -- Ani DiFranco. She is most compelling when she gets serious, as in the ruminative See You Singing, on which her multitracked vocals create a haunting effect, or the dark literary vignette Back Alley Butcher.... Suffice to say, this moth has taken wing."
-Marty Hughley, Entertainment Editor, The Oregonian, '06
Raina Rose’s new disc, End of Endless False Starts, features some fine acoustic-guitar picking from this Austin-based artist and, with its rootsy undercurrent, will certainly perk the ears of folk-pop enthusiasts. But its collection of musical novellas is really what sets this album apart from Rose’s singer-songwriter contemporaries, as these 12 stories enrapture the listener from first play. Rose’s vocal style, a mix of Kasey Chambers’ country twang (“Desire”) and Shawn Colvin’s girlish tone (“Air and Water”), serves as a fine vehicle to relay each vivid tale. Her melodies unleash a torrent of words, and her highly visual sonic portraits run long, sometimes up to six minutes, like the slow-burning, moody “Misaligned Tires.”
- Performing Songwriter Magazine Top 10 DIY picks
End of Endless False Starts requires the listener to tap the brakes and tune in. It’s not mindless, groove-oriented stuff here, so an appreciation for poetry is a prerequisite.