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Lower 9 Valentine
Esther rose’s emotional resonance.
Bill Forman

It’s hard to imagine a place where people are more devoted to music than New Orleans, mainly because there isn’t one. Even so, a number of musicians who call the Crescent City home find more recognition outside its city limits.

A case in point is Esther Rose. The singer-songwriter spent the better part of September touring nationally as a support act for Nick Lowe, but continues to maintain a low-profile in her own city. Meanwhile, her recently released sophomore album, You Made It This Far, has been getting rave reviews in the national music press. Paste Magazine called it “nothing short of a triumph,” while Pitchfork likened her songs to the experience of “reading faded and worn entries from our own beloved diaries.”

Rose relocated to New Orleans from her native Michigan in 2010 and has since become part of a semi-underground Americana scene centered around Mashed Potato Records, an independent label and recording studio in the city’s Lower Ninth Ward. It was there, over the course of four days, that Rose and her band—lap-steel player Matt Bell, fiddler Lyle Werner, bassist Dan Cutler and drummer Cameron Snyder—recorded the album’s ten songs on a vintage Ampex reel-to-reel.

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November 2019

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