Potomac-born singer/songwriter Maggie Rose is at home in Nashville. Her current single, “Better,” is at No. 27 on the country charts and her debut album dropped earlier this year.
Maggie Rose was born Margaret Rose Durante and for a few years performed as Margaret Durante. She recently made a few changes, including now performing as Maggie Rose, the nickname she is known as by family and friends.
After five years in Nashville, she said it was time to hit “the reset button” on her career, and make a few changes. “It’s probably more reflective of what’s on my album and who I am,” Maggie said in a phone interview from a rare day in Nashville. Touring and promoting her album and single, “Better” (The first release was “I Ain’t Your Mama.” The videos for both songs received airplay on CMT.) keep her on the road these days. In addition to her own shows, she will be out this fall with Gary Allan and Sheryl Crow on his tour. She toured with Allan and his band last summer on the Country Throwdown Tour.
Maggie Rose will be in concert in Frederick on Sept. 7 (presented by WFRE) at Champion Billiards Sports Cafe, with opener David Bradley. This is a ticketed event. Pre-sale tickets are $9.99 and at the door (if available) will be $15. Doors open at 6 p.m. Ticket details at frederickchampions.com or 301-846-0089.
“Cut to Impress” is the title of her debut album. The name came from a line in one of the songs on the album, “Mostly Bad.”
“Better” is a song she’s been singing for a couple of years. It’s a song of hope that things will improve, get better, Maggie said, whether you are going through a breakup or some other difficult situation.
“It’s a coming of age song,” she said. And it’s a song that fans relate to. They often tell her how it’s given them hope and encouragement to keep going.
“Looking Back Now” is another song she has been singing for a few years. She changed the name of it from “Whiskey and a Gun” to “Looking Back Now.” It may be the only song that has “sodium thiopental drips” in the lyrics.
“I think it was appropriate to change the name with respect to today’s political climate,” she said. “I think (‘Looking Back Now’) is a little more sensitive.”
Maggie Rose wrote about half the songs on the album, including the scandalous story told in “Preacher’s Daughter,” a story about love, lying and deceit, and is based on a personal experience. The song was also the template for the rest of the album, she said, which has a bit of a dark side.
“It was inspired by a guy I dated. He pretended to be someone he wasn’t,” she said. “He told me his fiancé died in a car accident five years before he met me. … He clearly had done this before.”
Maggie’s mother was visiting her in Nashville and questioned why Maggie didn’t know where he lived or any of his friends. She did a little research and found that the guy was married and was a deacon in the church he attended.
“I Ain’t Your Mama” is an empowering song for girlfriends to not let their boyfriends think of them as their mama. You know, picking up their socks and cleaning up after them.
“Hollywood” is a tongue-in-cheek comparison between the social issues of Tinseltown and Music City. It’s all one big country song.
Along with the new Maggie Rose comes a new band. Including Maggie, there are four women and three men.
“It’s a point of pride to have more women than men in my band,” Maggie said. “It’s such a male-dominated business.” And to have four of the best musicians “across the board” in the Maggie Rose Band is something she is excited about.
Maggie was in her second year at Clemson University in South Carolina, when a family friend had a friend of a friend of a friend who had connections in the music business. A phone call from a Nashville producer had her saying bye-bye to college and moving to Music City.
In comparing Potomac, Md., to Nashville, Tenn., Maggie said it’s pretty similar climate-wise, and the people at home are as friendly as they are in Nashville. “Obviously the creative community is a bit more dominant here,” she said. “I felt such support growing up in the D.C. area from family and friends, their support of my love of music.”
Not knowing anyone when she arrived in Nashville, Maggie said she had to learn her weaknesses and strengths pretty quick in a town where it seems everyone is a singer, songwriter and/or performer. It was almost overwhelming at first, she said, leaving the college life and moving to a new place.
“It made me buckle down and learn fast,” she said.
Maggie Rose got a nod from her favorite magazine, Glamour, in June when editors picked her as best dressed at the CMT Awards show. Editors said she was “bang-on trend in a cut-out black gown” and that she looked “sophisticated and pulled together.”
Pretty sweet since it was a last-minute choice. The dress, Maggie said, also fit nicely with the title of her album, “Cut to Impress.”
She grew up listening to a lot of women performers, including Shania Twain, but there is one artist she would like to meet and collaborate with, Bonnie Raitt.
In August, Maggie Rose traveled to the Middle East to perform for troops.
“The time we were there was less than the travel time to and from the air base,” she said.
“The people we met just totally blew me away, as far as their positivity,” said the 24-year-old Maggie Rose. “They were all far from home and family, in their 20s, some just married.”
Growing up in Potomac, with “Walter Reed in our backyard,” Maggie Rose has performed there and domestic military bases, too.
She will play the Bethesda Blues and Jazz Supper Club on Sept. 6, at Champion Billiards Sports Cafe in Frederick Sept. 7, WMZQ FallFest on Sept. 28 at Jiffy Lube Live! and Merriweather Post Pavilion on Sept. 29 for WPOC Sunday in the Country.
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Chad Warrix and David Tolliver of Halfway to Hazard kick of their 6th annual Crockettsville Charity Concert and Trail Ride on Friday by visiting to Kentucky schools. Warrix and Tolliver, along with Kyle Jacobs and Keith Anderson, partnered with the Kentucky Music Hall of Fame and the Rob Bironas Fund as part of the Stars Over Appalachia program to provide acoustic performances and deliver more than $12,000 of musical equipment to Kentucky students.
On Saturday, in Crockettsville, Ky., will be a show featuring Troy Gentry, Keith Anderson, Halfway to Hazard, Christian Kane, Danielle Peck, Ray Scott, Brian Nutter, Kyle Jacobs and headliner Lee Brice. The weekend closes on Sunday with a 42-mile ATV ride as a fundraiser for the Buckhorn Children & Family Services Charity. For more info, visit crockettsville.com.