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... more
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.
With the rain-soaked earth and woodsmoke still dancing in Raina’s heart and wafting into each of her songs, Raina returned to Portland to record The Gypsy Moths (2003), a collaboration between Raina and her longtime best friend, Meredith Cushing. The band was a series of hilarious mishaps and beautiful harmonies; but time always marches on, and sometimes bands don't. In 2006, Raina released her first solo record, Despite the Weight of Crushing Gravity, a stunning debut produced by Jim Brunberg at Portland-based Mississippi Studios. The album received rave reviews and quickly propelled Raina into demand on the US touring circuit. Raina's 2007 sophomore effort, The Prophet, The Panhandler, and The Moon, is a lovely, lilting, country-esque record, complete with fiddle & accordion and featuring such master musicians as guitarist Tony Furtado and bassist Will Amend. Its release came hot off the heels of Raina’s earning finalist honors in the 2007 Kerrville Folk Festival new folk competition. Her third album, End of Endless False Starts, released in 2009 and produced by Los Angeles based songwriting savant, John Elliott, was yet another critically acclaimed collection of original songs, selected as one of Performing Songwriter magazine’s “Top 12 DIY picks.” In 2010, Raina released her most recent album, When May Came, her most intimate and incendiary album to date. Recorded live and with a full band over four sweltering September days in Austin, TX, the album was a journey into uncharted realms of creativity—and the result was an incredibly soulful and lyrically potent collection of songs that reviewers have celebrated. Redefine Magazine declared that the album “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.”
Raina has toured relentlessly for the better part of the last five years, supporting such acts as Jill Sobule, The Bacon Brothers, and Tracy Grammer, and sharing the stage with contemporaries such as John Elliott, Rebecca Loebe, Jonathan Byrd, Anais Mitchell, AJ Roach, and Anthony da Costa. Her travels have taken her everywhere across the USA and Europe, including such venues and gigs as the High Sierra Music Festival, Club Passim (Boston, MA), and The Birchmere (Alexandria, VA). And you can bet that she’ll be coming to a town near you very soon, guitar in hand, ready to reveal a beautifully wild moment and reach a new depth inside of you through her intensely honest music and words.
"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
"Raina Rose is a vocal and guitar powerhouse."
-- Jeff Rosenberg, Willamette Week
"The fact of the matter is that, like Paul Simon after Simon and Garfunkel, Raina Rose has the strength to stand alone, performing music she's written, and her audiences will sit up and take noticeless