The Roseline
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The Roseline

Lawrence, Kansas, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2005 | INDIE

Lawrence, Kansas, United States | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2005
Band Americana Folk




"The Roseline find emotional release on new song, "Counting Sheep""

Emotions are running high these days ─ but it also offers a moment of great reflection. On the heels of a traumatic year, The Roseline frontman Colin Halliburton takes stock of his life the best way he knows how. A new song called “Counting Sheep,” premiering today on American Songwriter, offers a heavy inspection on history, the cyclical nature of hate, and one’s place in the world.

On an off day during a tour across Germany, the folk-rock band took some time “exploring the Bergen-Belsen Holocaust Museum,” says Halliburton. “It was so eerie and sad, and I found myself really affected by the experience. That visit, coupled with the white nationalists making more and more headlines in the news, led me to sit down and write this protest song in a bit of a rage-induced state.”

“Counting Sheep” pins Halliburton’s vivid, emotion-charged songwriting to earthy electric guitar, tight harmony work, and a haunting melody line. “So how are they gaining momentum, and how can I sleep / When lonely, white males have a vision of blood in the street,” he carves out today’s reality. “As long as they are given permission / I’m counting sheep / And sweatin’ through my sheets / Ya better believe.”

On the second version, he holds up a mirror ─ confronting his own reflection and the pressure to remain silent. “Just sittin’ on my hands, mouth closed, is how they hope that I behave / Complicit in the spread of their vile and violent hate.”

15 years and six albums in the rearview, The Roseline ─ also comprised of Bradley McKellip (guitar), Kris Losure (guitar), Jim Piller (drums), and Colin Jones (bass) ─ dive into uncharted personal waters with a new record. GOOD / GRIEF draws upon harrowing circumstances; in the last year, Halliburton lost his best friend (former band keyboardist) and his mother-in-law, who committed suicide.

“I’m drawn to writing about subjects that are dark but perhaps make the listener feel a little less alone,” Halliburton says of the record. “My favorite pieces of art always do that for me.” - American Songwriter

"The Roseline: 'Shakin' Shorts' NPR"

Colin Halliburton wrote the album A Wall Behind It to have what he calls "the warmth of American Analog Set, the spaciousness of country music and the lyrical punch and percussion of Elvis Costello or Paul Simon." Recorded with the other members of The Roseline, the track "Shakin' Shorts" features Halliburton's mellow brand of alternative country and touches on his worries and how he deals with them.

Halliburton first picked up the guitar in the Spring of 2004, and, in the following year, wrote over 70 songs. In order to narrow down his song list and record an album, Halliburton called together several musician friends that would become The Roseline.

Accompanying Halliburton are Ehren Starks, who has toured and recorded with the Architects, the Belles, MC Approach and plays organ and piano. Upright bassist Paul Winn has performed with Jose PH and Pleasuremaker. Drummer Joe Rankin formerly played in OK Jones, and backing vocalist Julia Peterson performs regularly with her own band, the Breaks. Other musicians who appear on the recording are electric guitarist Mike Alexander of the Architects and pedal steel musician Jeff Jackson, who performs with OK Jones and Rex Hobart. - NPR

"The Roseline - Blood - No Depression"

The Roseline have been around a while, and that shows in Blood‘s DNA. I wouldn’t call it bar rock, though it has that driving beat and sticky nostalgia that has defined many bands before them. But these songs are reserved in a way that only could have been written post-9/11. More Gin Blossoms than Replacements, with a healthy nod to more adventurous songwriters like Robert Ellis and Will Johnson, The Roseline exude resigned melancholy.
Colin Haliburton, the band’s singer and songwriter, strikes me as the type of guy who’s utterly fascinated by women. Not in a creepy way; I just think there’s a certain subset of men out there who view women as magical, otherworldly beings deserving of reverence. Only a guy like that could write such beautiful, achingly intimate portraits of the women he’s (mostly) lost. But his depictions of budding love are excellent as well:
Damn it feels nice
To be nervous all the time
Around a girl that you like
Who reciprocates
Cuz it ain’t been long
Since I been over the one I lost
This is the kind of music we need right now — ones that encompass the sadness, weariness, and horror of our times while providing kind, comforting observations of the smaller moments that make up our day-to-day life. - No Depression

"The Roseline 'Blood' (album stream) (premiere)"

Kansas born and bred, the Roseline produces minimalistic and windswept Americana indicative of their Heartland roots. There's something more to their portfolio than another set of strong contributions to the alt-country scene.

Underlying their clear sonic influences are thoughtful and melancholic themes driven home by a pristine, roots-laden delivery. The result on Blood, their latest LP, is a sound that comes across as smooth as it does with a bit of grit.

Altogether dark and hopeful, the band conceptualized the album around the most oft-written musical subject: love. Their take offers a deeper venture into all of its iterations and facets, whether it's serendipitous or not.

Explains Roseline frontman Colin Halliburton, "Blood is primarily an exploration of modern-day monogamous relationships -- from the first pang of a crush, through the often quotidian existence of long-term, committed cohabitations."

"Nothing is romanticized, and no focus is softened. The album also touches on ones attempt to age gracefully and the existential dread inherent in the pursuit of a creative life. These are deceptively simple songs for complex times. In the end, love may, in fact, be the answer." - Popmatters

"3x3: The Roseline on Cat Cafés, Ice Cream Cones, and Conor Oberst"

If you had to live the life of a character in a song, which song would you choose?

Bonita Applebum, so I can live as a thick woman coveted by Q-Tip.

Where would you most like to live or visit that you haven’t?

Tokyo, for the cat cafés.

What was the last thing that made you really mad?

God, where do I start with the Cheeto-dusted shit-goblin of a president? Every day there’s something that he does or says that makes me livid.

If you had to get a tattoo of someone’s face, whose would it be?

Easy — I’d get Gucci Mane eating an ice cream cone tattooed on my face.

Whose career do you admire the most?

Musician — Conor Oberst, because he doesn’t seem careerist in the least, and almost always writes pure heat. Person — my sister, who is a midwife in the Bronx.

Are you an introvert or an extrovert?

Is this for my OK Cupid profile? I dunno. I little of both, I guess. I’m equally capable of being the life of the party, as I am desperately wanting to leave the party.

What’s your favorite culinary spice?

Szechuan peppercorns because they make your tongue trip balls.

What are you reading right now?

The Girls by Emma Cline

What was your favorite childhood toy?

A pre-war mandolin. Just kidding: I’m pandering to your readership. Probably the original Nintendo Entertainment System. - The Bluegrass Situation

"Premiere: The Roseline - Maze of Glass"

Midwestern alt-country stalwarts The Roseline kick the week off for us on Folk Radio UK with Maze of Glass from their forthcoming album, Blood, due out October 6th. The band are spearheaded by Colin Halliburton – a 35-year-old university research assistant by day, who delights in the literary aspects of songwriting. He shared the following about Maze of Glass:

“This song explores the experience of moving back in with my parents at an age that may not exactly be encouraged by today’s societal norms. My girlfriend and I decided it would help us save money as she was returning to school. The move also resulted in me getting my first ‘straight’ job at the same middle school I attended as a kid, which was at once surreal and massively rewarding. In short, it’s a love song — a testament to the ability of a partner making you a better person. And if you’re familiar with my catalogue of songs at all, that’s a true rarity. Not every song should be a total bummer.”

Colin’s love of twang was not innate. In fact, up until he was 19 years old, Halliburton religiously listened to angular post punk and indie rock. One day he was on a back porch somewhere, and someone was blasting vintage Whiskeytown. As if someone had flipped a breaker, suddenly Colin found himself incredibly drawn to this rustic sound and thus commenced a journey down the Americana rabbit hole with pit stops at Lucinda Williams, Gram Parsons, Townes Van Zandt, Neko Case and fellow midwestern wordsmith, Conor Oberst.

Blood (due out October 6th) was recorded with engineer David Chutka at their local book repository, the Lawrence Public Library, which boasts a fully functioning recording studio in the soundproofed basement. The new recordings feature The Roseline’s classic blend of wit and melancholic honesty, told from a perspective that is firmly rooted in 2017. “A lot of Americana leans toward the bizarre fetishizing of all things old timey” Halliburton concedes. “I prefer to tackle the nuances of modern commitment and the existential dread of pursuing a creatively fulfilling life in this particular point in time.”

The band (as well as Halliburton, solo) will be touring the US and Europe in 2017/18. - Folk Radio UK

"Dirty Dozen: The Roseline - Americana UK"

The Roseline is the musical moniker of singer/songwriter Colin Halliburton, and a myriad collaborators. Over the course of ten years and five albums, The Roseline has forged a sound that is at once familiar and singular.

Can you tell us about yourself? Where you’re from and what you’ve been up to over the past few years?
We’re from Lawrence, Kansas USA. We recently finished our fifth full length album titled “Blood” and it’s coming out October 6th. We recorded it at our local public library’s studio which is free to use with a library card. Just goes to show how dreamy our town can be. - Americana UK

"Listen: The Roseline, "Better to the Bone""

Artist: The Roseline
Hometown: Lawrence, Kansas
Song: “Better to the Bone”
Release Date: April 3, 2020

In Their Words: “There’s an old songwriting adage about not putting the word ‘ring’ in a song because it might alienate listeners who are not married or coupled up. I decided to write a whole song about a ring and the decision to offer said ring to a person who truly enhances you and your life exponentially. It’s an ooey, gooey, sticky, sweet love song. A true rarity in our catalogue. Apologies if it alienates anyone.” — Colin Halliburton, The Roseline - The Bluegrass Situation

"The Roseline "Constancy""

‘Constancy’ is the latest record from Lawrence, Kansas-based five-piece The Roseline. Main songwriter Colin Halliburton notes the title of the record reflects “stubborn perseverance. I think good things can come from the simple act of just showing up over and over again” – though one suspects many artists can ‘just turn up’, but they probably won’t come close to anything as artistically satisfying as what lies within this album’s tracks.

Musically, there’s a sort of indie-folk-americana feel at times, but also touches of west coast country-rock and retro-pop. The band sound honed yet effortless, polished yet natural; the music is so easygoing that its hooks and rhythms wrap around you on first hearing, and continue to weave a stronger web with each successive listen. Meanwhile, Halliburton possesses the soft voice of a friend or confidant sharing the trials and tribulations of life, and cheering on its small successes.

A real highlight is opening single ‘Hunker Down’, a recollection of all the stresses engendered by living fast when young, but moving to a truly poignant realisation of the advantages of getting older and finding simpler joys…“Now all I wanna do is mostly nothin’, Hunker down with you and try to tame / All my peccadilloes and bad habits — lay ‘em to waste”. It is cloaked in music of the utmost ease and grace, like the Jayhawks at their most melodic; the chorus worms into your ear and won’t leave, while it culminates in a perfectly simple, but simply perfect, musical drop out towards the end. Heavenly.

There really are no missteps on the record at all. Songs gradually reveal their charms, and it’s likely favourite tracks will vary over time. For example, ‘Catalpa’ is simply gorgeous musically, chiming and stately, another reflection on moving into adulthood and leaving behind childish things –“We heard some college kids on their balcony/ Vapor cigarettes and yelling epithets/ Making lists of girls they ain’t conquered yet / Some may ache for youth, (you) Couldn’t pay me to go back”.

‘Paper Planes’, meanwhile, sounds like a heady mix of prime period Belle and Sebastian coupled with a Tom Petty chorus. It is the story of a woman finding her way, despite her own worst efforts to undermine herself. The writing is like a short story, so full of small detail, it’s heartbreaking in its descriptions: “She’s unsatisfied, but too proud to admit it”; “She has a boyfriend to pass the time, he’s a nice-enough mechanic”; “if she never really tries, she can’t be humiliated”. The story unfolds and appears to head for a happy ending, but even that has an uncertainty in its final moments, as if to suggest that for some, the American Dream, or any other dream, may be always just a little out of reach. Masterful.

The icing on the cake throughout comes with Halliburton’s lyrics. By turns conversational, poetic, ambitious, angry, kind, reassuring, questioning and so much more, this record is a lyrical tour-de-force that nonetheless wears its brilliance lightly. It will take many listens for all the subtexts and beauty of the words to reveal themselves, but the music ensures that the effort is no chore. Bravo, the Roseline. ‘Constancy’ is a great achievement and a wonderful record.

9/10 rating -


"A Wall Behind It" 2006
"Lust for Luster" 2008

"Vast as Sky" 2012

"Townie" 2015

"Blood" 2017


"Constancy" 2021



The Roseline (pronounced rose like the flower, line like a straight line) is a band from Lawrence, Kansas USA. Six albums into their career, they have crafted a songbook that is at once familiar and singular. Founder and songwriter, Colin Halliburton, began the project as an acoustic folk trio, and it has since evolved into the five-piece Americana rock band of its current form. Kind foreign press and high charting on the Euro Americana Chart ('Lust for Luster', 'Blood', and 'GOOD/GRIEF' and 'Constancy' all charted in the top ten), led to a deal in Benelux with the Dutch label, King Forward Records. The band also released one album, 'Vast as Sky’ (2012), with the Bay Area label Ninth Street Opus (home to Sarah Lee Guthrie and Carrie Rodriguez). 

The Roseline has had the good fortune of landing sync placements in indie movies and major network television shows such as ABC’s 'Nashville' and 'Resurrection', USA’s 'Queen of the South', Netflix's 'Virgin River', and MTV's 'Teen Mom OG'. The Roseline has been featured on/in NPR, Pop Matters, American Songwriter, The Bluegrass Situation, and No Depression, among others. Halliburton also performs solo under The Roseline moniker and has embarked on two European tours thus far. The full band recently completed their first tour of Scandinavia, courtesy of Rootsy Music (Jason Isbell, John Prine, American Aquarium, Justin Townes Earle).

The band recently wrapped up their seventh LP titled 'Constancy' which was released on November 5th, 2021. The album marks a distinct evolution in the band’s sound, as they found themselves taking more risks in the studio and expanding their sonic spectrum with the addition of vintage synth textures, myriad guitar effects and heroics, as well as a more collaborative songwriting approach. 

Lyrically, it is Halliburton’s most diverse and accomplished collection of songs, ranging from fictional narratives, to abstracted allegories, to intimate confessionals, and beyond. Ultimately he finds the constancy inherent in good love, family, art and joy, is what leads to a life worth celebrating. This is not to say he shies away from the darker corners of the human condition, but rather that the darkness is a necessary foil for the light. 

Halliburton explains, “There’s something to be said for stubborn perseverance. I think good things can come from the simple act of just showing up over and over again. It can be applied to your day job, your love life, your children, your side hustle, your hobbies, and beyond. That’s where the idea of “constancy” came from for me.” 

Band Members