Raina Rose

Raina Rose

BandAmericanaSinger/Songwriter

Internationally touring Americana musician and songwriter Raina Rose revels in sharing her unique voice and exceptional guitar playing. It's a style that transcend age, gender, generation, and even catch the ears of those who aren't typically into acoustic guitar-driven songwriting.

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Biography

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 notice

Lyrics

Texas

Written By: Raina Rose

Texas
I don’t miss Texas, cuz I’m still there. I left my heart in the hill country air. Left my heart with a man I hardly know, way down in Texas next to Mexico. So I’ll sing a song of love, I’ll write one more of war. I’ll sing a song of strength to endure what’s in store. As the Northwest rain tries to drown this spark, I’ll sing a song love, it’s a good place to start. I don’t miss Texas, devil dust and hellish heat, but I do miss peace and the freedom of retreat. I miss the days of blessed ignorance, before this fool’s parade of presidents. So I’ll sing a song of leaving, whether good or bad, sing a song of having the best I’ve ever had, a song of living in hipocracy, as the space between boasts a Grand Canyon leap. Texas is half heaven and half a stone. There’s a lot of damn fools that call Texas home, so it pains me to say my heart lies there, way way way down in that hill country air. So I’ll sing a song of love for those in this vicious war, I’ll sing a song of strength to endure what’s in store, and as the sun goes down on a southbound train, I’ll sing a song of love, I hope to ease the pain. And before this kettle blows, let’s get restless, let’s hop a train to Mexico way down next to Texas. So I’ll sing a song of thunder to shake the walls, sing a song of heat that will make the toughest fall, a song of not knowing what the future holds, a song of setting your heart into hands of gold. So I’m ready to be told where these winds will blow, send me way way down to Texas next to Mexico.

O Oregon

Written By: Raina Rose

O Oregon
A thousand crosses, white with bright bowers
Black and brown cows in the cactus flowers
500 miles from here to San Antone
and it’s been 5 long months since I been home
back to Oregon, can’t wait to be home again
sometimes I wish I could call you on the phone
O Oregon, I hear the storm again
Calling down to carry me home
Evergreen trees, the sky ever-grey
But in July it’s as blue as the blue in your eyes
On a Columbia day, the gods if they could choose
Would live in Oregon till the day they die

Grow me an apple tree some basil and a rose
Pick what you want before it freezes
Zip your coat, let’s walk across the Hawthorne bridge
The sky sings cuz the clouds never leave us

O Oregon I will never be long
When I’m gone O I still breathe you
Where is home? Well it’s in me love
But you’re the only love I’m true to

I Like You Better

Written By: Raina Rose

I Like you Better
I like you better when you’re sleeping
Cuz you can’t make some jackass comment
I see your heart under your sleeve, It’s bleeding
Seeping through your sweater and dripping onto the cement
Let’s make love like we’re making dinner
Like tonight this is something we’re gonna need
And I’m worried about you cuz you’re getting thinner
And I know we’re both so hungry, hungry
I like you better when we’re alone
Cuz you’re not trying to win them over
You cut it down right to the bone
So stop looking over your shoulder
Let’s make love like we’re brewing tea
Like together we’re worth way more
Like you be hot water and I’ll be sweet leaf
Just lay me down baby and pour, pour.
I could love you better than anyone could
But I don’t think it would do us any good
Oh, I love could love you better than anyone
But you run
I like you best when you’re singing
Like the moon around the earth I revolve
You tend to sing like you were breathing
Like your song will help us all consciously evolve
Let’s make love like we’re two beating wings
On the same bright and beautiful bird
Like you be the music and I’ll be the words
Of a song that’s like nothing nobody’s ever heard

Badlands

Written By: Raina Rose

Badlands
By Raina Rose

I am the badlands from here to the Grand Canyon
I’m looking for an answer in this tornado sky
But there’s none coming so we better start running
No matter where we’re going better kiss this town goodbye

Every song that has been sung Becomes a star becomes a sun
Becomes a world, a universe, spitting and spinning
Their arms are wide like live oka limbs, their breath is sweet like cinnamin
They’re sitting at the bar again, softly reminiscing

I am the badlands from here to the Grand Canyon
I’m looking for an answer in this tornado sky
But there’s none coming so we better start running
No matter where we’re going better kiss this town goodbye

You got a map and a compass rose, you’re headed south just like the birds
You’re flying like a fever and you’re quickly losing daylight
So never mind that shove of wind blowing in your face again
Never mind the balancing of fear and fondness that you fight

Put on your city coat, I’ll lock the doors and push the boat
We’re going out looking, but we don’t know what for
It could be dawn on the horizon, it could be night I could be lying
It could be 1940 I could be headed out to war

Nothing is a state of mind and somewhere on the county line
The air is blowing sweet and fine and you find you have it all
So dance just for the dance of it, the dust blows up like parting gifts
You put your ear up to my lips Wear the secrets like a shawl

I am the badlands from here to the Grand Canyon
I’m looking for an answer in this tornado sky
But there’s none coming so we better start running
No matter where we’re going better kiss this town goodbye

Not Not Love

Written By: Raina Rose

Not Not Love
By Raina Rose

Go ahead and lay your head on my shoulder
Your hand on my arm, baby you still got your glasses on
Powdered sugar snow in New England
The wind is singing
My blood is pumping warm

This is not what we’d intended
Still I’m willing to defend
This might not not be love
Radio antenna on the water tower
The tidal passage of hours
This might not not be love

This ain’t a book of days, it’s just a page
One more dragged footstep towards old age
It may seem to endless but it ends before you can take ten breaths
We’ll try not to forget it and try not to let it slip away

This is not what we’d intended
Still I’m willing to defend
This might not not be love
Radio antenna on the water tower
The melodic passage of hours
This might not not be love

Plant your feet in kindness and don’t worry about money
I’ll get the strings, you get the coffee
Yours black and mine with milk and honey

It may be bad luck to categorize or try to disguise it
It’s a misstep to deny it and I’m a bad liar and a retired thief
So just warm yourself with wool blankets
We’ll make a pallet on the floor and I’ll sleep next to you
If you believe in me

This is not what we’d intended
Still I’m willing to defend
This might not not be love
Radio antenna on the water tower
The unstoppable passage of hours
This might not not be love

King's Flashlight

Written By: Raina Rose

Where do you go when the place you’re from don’t feel like home
Just a skyline you recognize another town you can navigate
But you know your way through Phoenix, you know your way through Philadelphia
And you hate that town but you know your way through LA

And you say
I don’t wanna be the king I wanna be the king’s flashlight
I don’t know a thing but you know when a thing’s not right
And you’re wondering and wandering through your dreams, through the night
I don’t wanna be the king, I don’t wanna be

Where do you go when your friends have moved away
There’s new faces in their windows, new dogs behind their garden gates
You got business cards in your pockets you’re dying to give away
But you’re too shy, so you leave the talk to another guy, you leave the talking

And you say
I don’t wanna be the king I wanna be the king’s flashlight
I don’t know a thing but you know when a thing’s not right
And you’re wondering and wandering through your dreams, through the night
I don’t wanna be the king, I don’t wanna be

I’m going to Montana, I hear the sky is real big
I hear you’re coming with what a relief
I’m a damn good fisherman till the catch is on the line till then I’m fine
But baby all I know is release

What do ya do when you look into the mirror and you are older than you have ever been
It’s like a ferris wheel broke down at the county fair, you know you’re stuck somewhere
But you don’t care, cuz you’re flying!

And you say
I don’t wanna be the king I wanna be the king’s flashlight
I don’t know a thing but you know when a thing’s not right
And you’re wondering and wandering through your dreams, through the night
I don’t wanna be the king, I don’t wanna be

Act of God

Written By: Raina Rose

Act of God
By Raina Rose

If there was a hurricane
We’d know who to blame for tearing the house down
But there was no warning, warm Sunday morning
Strewn in pieces on the ground
There’s the front door and the kitchen sink
Broken bed busted glass baby do you think…

It was an act of god?
For a loss of faith?
Was it an act of man?
These times ain’t that safe
Was it you and me that tore down this place?
Well, I’m leaving and I ain’t coming back

Take it as a sign that the old railroad line moved outta town
And we’re both outta work, man that ol tax man hurt
Be careful or you’re gonna drown
In that rushing river that flows through the back porch
My heart burning like a bright torch

It was an act of god?
For a loss of faith?
Was it an act of man?
These times ain’t that safe
Was it you and me that tore down this place?
Well, I’m leaving and I ain’t coming back

This ain’t no eulogy, so don’t come to me with a frown or a fist
This thing ain’t up to me but now we’re both set don’t ya think it would come to this?
So take what you can, what’s there to save?
This ain’t a house, it’s more like a grave…

It was an act of god?
For a loss of faith?
Was it an act of man?
These times ain’t that safe
Was it you and me that tore down this place?
Well, I’m leaving and I ain’t coming back

Desdemona

Written By: Raina Rose

Beautiful Desdemona
She was an angel in the graveyard
Liftin up her arms, she grabs that fat ol’ hobo moon
She said “take this as you’re leavin, maybe death will never find you
Hiding in the shadows, blowin throufh the curtains of your room”
She’s a coyote-you can’t own her
Beautiful Desdemona

Lovely Desdemona
She was workin at a service station
Out in Arizona, under that highway 10 sky
She was lookin for a reason
She had never seen an ocean
And I was just convenient, but hell I didn’t mind
Travelin like Moses down the road
Beautiful Desdemona

Lyin Desdemona
Like a snake in the stonework
Kissed me in the southern sun until she drew my blood
She said “leave that longing with me, I will plant it by the roadside
Heaven help the man who sings just to be loved”
The holy hand of Jesus don’t get nothing done
Oh Jesus Desdemona we had fun

Singing LA LA LA LA LA LA…

Waitin under the eaves for the storm to pass
Oh, Desdemona will it last

Thievin Desdemona
Long hair flyin out the window
Leavin my last dollar on the running boards
And I’m still looking for her dancing barefoot in the graveyard
She’s witching in the moon light but it’s that truck that I miss more
Slick as a river stone
Beautiful Desdemona

Singin LA LA LA LA LA LA

Bluebonnets

Written By: Raina Rose

I promise to be kind/I promise to start now/I will barter your sorrow for the sun somehow/anyhow how will we get there in the dark?/ I will bring you bluebonnets for your table/and baby’s breath/and you won’t hear me come in/you won’t see me/but you wil know when I’ve left/ I promise a compromise/even concerning this:/that I won’t read the last page first/and miss the story of it/morning glory, how will we find it in the dark?/ I will bring you bluebonnets for your table/and baby’s breath/and you won’t hear me come in/you won’t see me/but you wil know when I’ve left/ I’m sorry/I broke your heart/I’m so sorry/I did it from the start/I took it apart and put it back together/maybe now your heart will work better/ I swear to be solemn/with every secret confess’d/down every dark highway the wind has the honor to undress/we’ll make a mess/tryin to find our way home in the dark

Discography

Caldera (2013)
When May Came (2010)- Constant Clip Records
Blackwater EP (2009)- Self-Released
End of Endless False Starts (2009)- Self-Released
The Prophet, The Panhandler and The Moon (2007)- Self-Released
Despite the Crushing Weight of Gravity (2005)- Self-Released
The Gypsy Moths feat. Raina Rose and Meredith Cushing (2002)- Self-Released

Set List

anywhere from 30 minutes to 3 hours of original material. Covers range from Springsteen to Joni Mitchell to Dan Bern to Dylan.

originals:
Act of God
Desdemona
If You're Gonna Go
Stone Around My Neck
The Truth
Sun Comes Back
The Bees
Nashville
Pretty Good Today
Heart-broken-open
What Do You Bury?
Of an Empty Heart and of Dyin'
For the Good of the People
I Couldn't Win Your Heart
Kingsize Bed
Who Were You Then?
Are You Still in Love With the World?
Desire
The King's Flashlight
Blind Cyrus
Air & Water
The River
Misaligned Tires
This Ain't My House
Not Not Love
Starts With a Low Hum
I Would Like to Kiss Everyone
I Like You Better
O Oregon
Mary Mary Magdelena
God Bless
Frida
Stone Fruit
Pickles
Nursery Rhymes
The Trouble With Birds Is:
Texas
Somnambulist
Nameless Ship