Elizabeth Rose | Sleep Naked

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Sleep Naked

by Elizabeth Rose

...a wicked-smart contemporary singer/songwriter, Elizabeth Rose's bluesy, soulful approach has a touch of Bonnie Raitt, but with the insouciant funk of Rickie Lee Jones and the lyrical sophistication of Cole Porter.
Genre: Pop: with Live-band Production
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  Song Share Time Download
1. Enlightenment
2:21 $0.99
2. Oil
4:13 $0.99
3. Sleep Naked
4:10 $0.99
4. I'm Too Beau'ful (for you)
3:51 $0.99
5. Leave Me Alone
5:36 $0.99
6. Baby Please Come on Home
3:59 $0.99
7. Deliver Me
2:57 $0.99
8. Ferris Wheel
2:41 $0.99
9. One Last Look
4:12 $0.99
10. Whistle At Me
5:34 $0.99
11. Back Seat Driver
3:05 $0.99
12. It All Comes Back To Love
3:40 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Elizabeth Rose "Sleep Naked" -
Liner Notes by Jon Chappell, author, "Rock Guitar for Dummies"

Whether she's enticing you with come-hither invitations or giving a deadbeat beau the boot, Elizabeth Rose shows her depth and versatility as a wicked-smart contemporary singer/songwriter in Sleep Naked.

Elizabeth is a facile cross-genre writer, delivering an alluring, gospel-tinged lullaby in the album's title track, "Sleep Naked," while exhibiting her pluck in the strutting and self-assured send-off songs "I'm Too Beau'ful (for you)" and "One Last Look." Her talents even cover Western Swing with "Back Seat Driver," a good-time road trip replete with rapid-fire wordplay. Through it all, Elizabeth puts forth compelling turns of phrase and agile moments of melody, both as composer and singer.

Even when she's meting out stinging barbs, Elizabeth keeps her good humor, as evidenced by "Enlightenment" (with its erudite imputations) and "Oil" (an indictment of the fossil-fuel industry). But she turns on an emotional dime to render a heartfelt plea in the sultry, loping "Baby Please Come On Home" and serves up a haunting, evocative reverie in "Ferris Wheel."

As if singing, writing, and leading the band weren't enough, Elizabeth lays down some serious guitarwork on Sleep Naked. On acoustic, she is equally deft comping jazz-chord passages ("Enlightenment") as she is fingerpicking Piedmont-style blues ("Leave Me Alone"). When she dons an electric, Elizabeth coaxes slinky, lyrical lines from her Tele for "Sleep Naked" and punctuates the simple acoustic-bass texture of "Baby Please Come On Home" with tasty slide fills.

The band: Special mention must be made of the supporting cast-a cadre of New York veteran musicians including Elizabeth's brother Bob Rose, guitar/mandolin (Ray Charles, Stevie Wonder, Herbie Hancock) and husband, Don Castellow, baritone sax (Roscoe Gordon, Boz Scaggs, Pinetop Perkins). Also contributing to the production are Richie Cannata, alto sax (Billy Joel); Steve Gelfand, bass (Hall and Oates, Janis Ian, "Cheers" theme song); Tony Kadleck, trumpet (Frank Sinatra, Barbra Streisand, Stevie Wonder); Warren Odze, drums, (Judy Collins, Dixie Carter); Dave Rickenberg, soprano sax, (Woody Herman, Blood Sweat and Tears); and Mark Stewart, cello, (Paul Simon, Bob Dylan, Paul McCartney). To infuse the tracks with religion as well as reason, Elizabeth has drafted Gospel and church musicians Eric Dozier (keyboards), Nate Jones (bass), and singers Lawrence Davis, Stephanie Rice, and Latasha Jordan (Harlem Gospel Choir, Harlem Messengers). This panoply of diverse talent is expertly mixed and marshaled by producer/engineer Shinya Miyamoto.

The 12-song collection Sleep Naked is a journal of emotions, well wrought and insightfully captured. Aided by tight arrangements and a cracking supporting ensemble, Elizabeth Rose's bluesy, soulful approach has a touch of Bonnie Raitt, but with the insouciant funk of Rickie Lee Jones and the lyrical sophistication of Cole Porter. Her music can smile and wink at you-and even bite-but it blows gentle kisses, too. -Jon Chappell, author "Rock Guitar for Dummies"




to write a review

Zenga Longmore - The Social Affairs Unit

One hearing of her songs is enough to convince the listener that Elizabeth is no
Until I heard Elizabeth Rose's new album, Sleep Naked, I was convinced the great tradition of blues-women accompanying themselves on the guitar had vanished. ***

During the 1930s, the Deep South was simply awash with females strumming ebulliently on banjos and twelve string guitars, moaning the blues. Very often they sang their own lyrics, the themes of which ranged from the misery of a life of prostitution to the joys of romantic love. Memphis Minnie (1897-1973), the superlative female blues guitarist, sang in a raw, "down-home" style. She was married to Joe McCoy, the leader of the Harlem Hamfats. McCoy had been a deeply religious preacher before experiencing a St Paul Revelation in reverse. ***

Out of the blue McCoy was struck by the realization that the Devil's Music (or jazz, it had begun to be known) led to the path of Glory. Instantly he renounced godliness but luckily his sight remained intact. In his song Hallelujah Joe he describes his personal road to Damascus - or New Orleans:***

Hallelujah Joe!
Ain't preachin' no more
He's swingin' now, so he ain't gonna preach no more
He made a trip down to New Orleans,
And he made that song 'Weed Smoker's Dream'
Weed Smoker's Dream, a song extolling the virtues of Madame Marijuana, was Joe's big hit.***

His wife Minnie had no reason to celebrate conversions, having been born into a blues family. Memphis Minnie was a tough woman whose talent ensured her star continued to shine throughout the depression years. Strikingly attractive and always glamorously attired, she occasionally startled her audience by laying down her guitar in order to pull a gun on an unruly fan. Miss Minnie was heavily influenced by the classic blues shouters of her day, such as Victoria Spivey and Ma Rainey. In a haunting tribute to Ma Rainey, Minnie describes her as "the best blues singer I ever heard". Ma Rainey was known as the Queen of the Blues in the early 1920s before being usurped by the power-packed Bessie Smith. Minnie's song Ma Rainey finishes with these words: ***

Ma Rainey's gone, but Minnie will carry on.
Now that Memphis Minnie's gone, I am unbelievably grateful to have discovered that the singer and songwriter Elizabeth Rose is here to carry on the great line of blues guitar women. ***

Ms Rose's music defies categorization. Just as one cannot state, in all honesty, that Sarah Vaughan was purely a jazz singer, so Elizabeth Rose is not exactly a blues singer, not quite a jazz artiste and not really a balladeer. She once told me: ***

No one can pin down my musical style. I'm bluesy, rocky and jazzy.***

Recently, I was fortunate enough to receive a copy of Elizabeth Rose's CD which sports the somewhat concupiscent title, Sleep Naked. Ms Rose arranged, wrote and performed all the numbers in this album. One hearing of her songs is enough to convince the listener that Elizabeth is not only a poet but also a philosopher whose ideas bristle with tough, world-changing suggestions. Take a look at her lyrics for Oil, a song lamenting America's Middle Eastern policies: ***

Inbred greed head, overfed, under read,
Hide behind your figurehead
Go back home - stay in bed - OIL
What you're doing
It's sticky, it's greasy, it makes me feel queasy,
Please release me and give us back the peace from OIL
One hundred million two, who needs a caribou?
Three hundred million four
Go launder it offshore, four hundred million five,
Let's keep this war alive, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10,
Not enough? Just say when

To understand the nature of Elizabeth's passionate spirit, one must wallow in the drama of her singing and playing. I first heard her in New York. I had never come across a singer equipped with such an extraordinary vocal range. Her high notes soar into the stratosphere, then dive into the ether until they are only discernible to the genus chiroptera. Her rakish humour and New York banter delight her listeners. "She's jaw droppingly brilliant", a man next to me muttered (with difficulty due to his dropped jaw). Her humour and presentation recall Ella Fitzgerald at her most jaunty, although physically, Elizabeth and Ella could not be more different. Elizabeth is tiny and slim with an elfin face surrounded by a mass of ringlets. Her puckish black eyes radiate mischief and intelligence.***

Sleep Naked's songs scan a vast range of subjects and emotions. Enlightenment delves into the soul of a woman who is heartily sick of her partner's "relentless incantations, mantras, revelations",
Elizabeth pleads in an angelic soprano: ***

Oh spare me your enlightenment.
and on your way out, throw me a beer.***

Leave Me Alone is a very comic song about Elizabeth's ageing mother's grouchy plea for independence: ***

Leave me alone I wanna do it myself - I got 91 years on you
Leave me alone I don't want your help
Or your solicitudinous - phooey
I know you're whispering things behind my back
I don't care a whit - wouldn't waste a why
Leave me alone I wanna do it myself
You just stand back and watch me - that's sure to kill you
Way before I die.***

The lyrics on the album include warnings to back seat drivers, anger at being whistled at and of course love - lost love, discovered love and love unknown. It All Comes Back To Love is one of the most delectable songs on the album. I was especially impressed by Elizabeth's husband, Don Castellow, whose masterful baritone saxophone features on some of the numbers. One wonders what Memphis Minnie would have made of Sleep Naked. Like me, I expect she would have wept, laughed, and perhaps muttered in her own inimitable way, "Ooo whee! Good to the last drop". *****

Zenga Longmore writes for The Spectator, The Oldie, and The Daily Telegraph. She is an actress and blues singer and the author of "Tap-taps To Trinidad". To read her previous articles on jazz for the Social Affairs Unit, see Jazz.

Elmore Magazine

Roy Markowitz Review
Check out this RAVE REVIEW FOR "SLEEP NAKED' by drummer/writer extraordinaire, Roy Markowitz in ELMORE MAGAZINE:

"In a world peppered daily with platitudes from the mouths of Jessica Simpson, Ashlee Simpson and Marge Simpson, it is refreshing to discover a writer who actually takes some time to think about what she wants to say and how she wants to say it. Such a writer is Elizabeth Rose, that rare breed of singer-songwriter who can entertain, make you laugh and later, have you marvel at her linguistic tour-de-force.

Nellie McKay meets Cole Porter meets Bonnie Raitt. She bares her soul on the title song, "Sleep Naked", gets down Rickie Lee Jones style on "Deliver Me" and offers a very accomplished acoustic guitar performance with cello accompaniment on "Ferris Wheel," an Off-Broadway type homage to our child-like fondness for the simple joy of floating, "not in command," through the air. By the way, the arrangements and the ensemble playing shine throughout this album; guided by the very talented drummer/arranger/producer, Shinya Miyamoto, who keeps the action going without obscuring the lyrics.

In sum, Elizabeth is very much like the mother she describes on the very funny, "Leave Me Alone." "A force of nature downgraded typhoon/her mind's a trap, and tongue's a harpoon." You will be in good hands when you "Sleep Naked" with Elizabeth Rose. --Roy Markowitz