Underhill Rose blends aspects of Americana, rhythm and blues, country and bluegrass into an authentic sound that is all their own. These female troubadours’ original songs are wrapped in three-part harmonies and packaged with an eye-catching stage presence. The smoky voice of Eleanor Underhill joined with the soaring vocals of Molly Rose and the country twang of Salley Williamson creates a sound that can only be described as “heartfelt country soul.” Playing banjo and harmonica, guitar, and upright bass respectively, the trio has carved out a place in the Americana scene with songs that run the gamut from heart wrenching to sassy and playful to thought-provoking. The music is real and inspired, rooted in everything life has thrown at Asheville, North Carolina’s pre-eminent female trinity.
Since forming in 2009, Underhill Rose has played live throughout the Southeast, from the bluegrass of Kentucky to the sandy shores of the Florida coast. They have entertained crowds at festivals ranging from the Bristol Rhythm and Roots Reunion to the Warren Haynes Christmas Jam, and venues as renowned as the Grove Park Inn and the Biltmore Estate. The ladies have shared the stage with the likes of singer/songwriter Jim Lauderdale, Kevn Kinney of Drivin’ N Cryin’, Blackberry Smoke, Col. Bruce Hampton, Larry Keel, and the Everyone Orchestra featuring Jon Fishman and Papa Mali, and have been praised by industry legends, fans and media outlets throughout the country.
Armed with a fresh sound, visually appealing performances and an extraordinary ability to blend a multitude of musical genres, Underhill Rose is a trio with a sound that clings to listeners and audience members alike. The release of the new album in May 2013 is the beginning of a new chapter that will take the ladies to new heights and the music to new ears.
We chatted with Eleanor recently so read on to learn who her dream lineup includes (hint: it’s A LOT of different artists) and what surprising instrument she grew up playing!
What’s the first gig you ever attended?
My family was more into theater than music and I remember seeing Broadway plays with them. I also have early memories of playing with toys in the dressing room while my mom rehearsed and acted with a local stage company. I think the first music gig I ever went to was the Horde Tour when I was about 14. I remember seeing Rusted Root, 311, and Blues Traveler. It was my first festival experience, and it really opened my eyes to what that world was all about.
What is the best gig that you ever performed?
That’s a mixed bag. One of the most high-profile gigs I’ve ever played was with The Everyone Orchestra, which included the likes of Jon Fishman, Papa Mali, Mark Benevento, Jonathan Scales, and members of Toubab Krewe. I was so nervous due to the caliber of musicians on the stage, and it completely stifled my ability to improvise- which was the whole premise of the set. So, it was a big deal but not my best performance. However, Underhill Rose’s CD release party at The Isis Theatre in Asheville was a highlight of my career. It was a celebratory night, and we had many of our musician friends playing with us. The room was full and the audience was awesome. That, I will say, was the best gig.
What is the best gig you have ever seen?
I’ve seen a lot of great shows, but the first thing that comes to mind is when Trombone Shorty played The Orange Peel in Asheville. Every song had an amazing, unique groove, and it was really high energy. I used to play trombone for many years so, perhaps, I have a soft spot for it. Trombone Shorty is an amazing performer. Other favorites include The Wood Brothers, Patti Griffin, Gillian Welch and David Rawlings, Sonny Rollins, Dr. John, and John Fullbright. I even saw a Phish show in Alpharetta recently. That was a lot of fun because I got to share the experience with my sister and they played our favorite song, “Divided Sky.”
What is the gig you would most like to play?
I visualize Underhill Rose playing in a beautiful theater in Nashville, TN, for some sort of awards show. Yes, basically I dream about playing a show among music peers and idols in a great room with beautiful lights and top-notch sound. Filling the room with music and sharing an “I have arrived” moment.
What would be the lineup for your dream gig?
Dream? Ryan Adams on acoustic guitar and vocals, Jack White on electric guitar and vocals, John Harford on fiddle and vocals, Bonnie Raitt playing slide and vocals, Dr. John on piano and vocals, Jerry Douglas on lap steel and vocals, Gillian Welch on rhythm guitar (or banjo) and vocals, Ringo on drums, Paul McCartney on bass and vocals, Sonny Rollins on tenor sax, John Fullbright on Rhodes, harmonica, and vocals. It would be great to throw someone like Moby or Dan Auerbach to add loops and effects. I can’t forget Mos Def to MC. Of course, Molly, Salley and I would also find a spot on stage. Is that too many people?
Underhill Rose will be at Eddie’s Attic TOMORROW 9/5
Doors open at 6:30 pm.
Tickets are $10 in advance and $14 at the door.
A table of 4 reserved seats is $50.
Tables with 4 reserved seats and 4 meal combos are $110.
Online, phone, and outlet sales end at 5:00pm on the day of the show.