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Talking music with Rose Carleo (Includes interview)

Though her music has lent more towards country in the past, Rose Carleo has been allowing her rock side to come more to the fore of late, as demonstrated by her new single, “Time Is Now,” a brilliant, high-energy track that features her current touring partner, Paul Woseen.

The pair, who first became acquainted back in the ’90s before recently rekindling their friendship, played seven shows together in January and now Ms. Carleo, who lists Emmylou Harris, Etta James, Patsy Cline, Janis Joplin, Led Zeppelin and AC/DC as some of her favourite acts, is gearing up to release her third album, also called Time Is Now.

“I’m on the road at the moment with Paul Woseen from The Screaming Jets – he’s doing a solo acoustic tour for his solo album,” confirms the singer, speaking to me from her car as she makes her way to Byron Bay.

“He’s a good friend of mine and my partner’s and he’s playing on my album. While we were in the studio, he said, ‘You should come on tour!’ I said, ‘Okay, book me in,’ so here we are… I open the show for him and then I join him on stage towards the end of his set and we do a couple of songs. It’s really good.”

Further discussing her productive musical relationship with Paul, Rose remarks, “Obviously The Screaming Jets have always been a huge influence throughout the Australian music scene and internationally too – but also to me.

“I’ve always loved Paul’s musicianship and songwriting and talking about my album, I asked if he’d want to come and record with us and he said yes. It turned out really beautifully.”

As revealed earlier, Woseen appears on the rip-roaring current single, as well as on the album, and I wondered whether this ‘rockier’ direction was influenced in any way by his presence?

“Well yes and no,” replies Rose. “I mean I wrote all the songs with my partner, Mick, and Drew McAlister, so the song was already written and demoed up.

“We wrote the songs and then gave him and the band the demos. Then of course everyone puts their flavour in it… That’s why I picked him as the bass player because the stuff was a lot rockier.”

Is the song an indication of what we can expect from the album?

“It’s probably more of a blues rock album… My earlier stuff was more country sort of blues, but I grew up on a staple diet of country music and rock music as well. I like to think that the songs have got a really cool, foot-on-the-floor groove and also the stories or meanings that you quite often hear in country music.”

“Look, a few more dates with Paul might come up, but I will be touring the new album myself,” says the star, outlining her plans for the rest of the year, “and Paul’s quite keen to come on tour with us in between the schedules of The Screaming Jets and then Rose Tattoo who he plays for as well.

“We’re gonna try and make it work. There will be some dates where he’ll join us, which’ll be fantastic, and any other solo dates for Paul that come up, I’ll probably jump on tour as well. It’s gonna be a lot of fun this year!”

Rose Carleo’s new album, Time Is Now, will be out in March.

For more information, visit her official website.

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