If you’re trying to catch lightning in a bottle, acquiring the bottle is the easy part.
That’s something Maggie Rose figured out while making “Change the Whole Thing,” an aptly titled new album that attempts to funnel the frizzle of her live show into a dozen not-quite-country songs. “I was making my records the way the rest of Nashville does,” Rose says. “Get the band in the room, put everyone in an isolation booth, get the track right, then go back and cut the vocals . . . . And that’s supposed to be a record. To me, the magic happens when we’re all in there together, making sure we deliver on that take.”
Now, her music feels louder, looser, more spontaneous and better suited for her voice, which has always threatened to incinerate the eyebrows of anyone sitting in the front row. Hoping to launch that voice onto the national airwaves, the Potomac-raised songwriter relocated to Nashville more than a decade ago, but her priorities have since changed. “Country radio isn’t my motivation” anymore, Rose says of her new music. “I want to deliver that soul that people who have been following me come out to see.”
She’ll tie a bow on her year of reinvention with a holiday-themed homecoming concert on Saturday night. And although any hometown gig offers a heavy dose of perspective, this one feels especially weighty. “I’m definitely feeling a lot of gratitude,” Rose says. “And that’s a theme that’s woven throughout this record, too.”