Days before Whitney Rose took off on a four-month worldwide tour in support of her album, "South Texas Suite," earlier this year, the Canadian-born and Austin-based country singer journeyed to Nashville for one week.
She had a new album to record.
At some point during this week in January, in which she was working 12 hours each day, a member of her production team, a recovered addict, walked into the Nashville studio with a pint that said "Rule 62." Instead of taking a lunch break, he had visited a local Alcoholics Anonymous meeting.
"I asked him about it and he told me the story behind it," Rose said. "I said, 'Well, that's the name of the album.'"
The story behind it is this: Rule 62 stands for "Don't take yourself too seriously."
"It was so timely and so perfect," Rose, 30, said. "I couldn't help myself. I knew that people were going to make assumptions and that it would be something interesting to talk about because a lot of people don't know about it."
As it turns out, that fit right in with what Rose had been writing about. She penned nine of the 11 tracks on "Rule 62," which was released last Friday. Rose is headed out on another tour this week.
"When I was writing the songs for this album, kind of what I wanted to do was take situations and feelings that could easily be considered serious or really sad or bad or heartbreaking or things that make you angry and just put a different twist on them," she said.
Her twist is this: "Be sad or whatever. But don't let it ruin you."
Take, for example, one song in particular.
For as long as Rose has performed, she has intermittently become really anxious before her sets to the point of trembling or shaking. So, she came up with a little jingle to calm her nerves, in which she sang the words "Can't stop shakin'" over and over. It always made her feel better.
"That was not ever supposed to be a song," she said. "It was a little anthem I would sing to myself."
In the studio, on Inauguration Day, Rose told one of her producers about her anthem and was urged to write more lyrics. She did so in 20 minutes.
It served as a way, she said, of settling her own frustrations about what was happening outside the studio and around the country on that day.
"It was on everyone's mind," Rose said. "There were so many different kinds of energy."
"Can't Stop Shakin'," which premiered last month on Rolling Stone Country, turned into a groove-infused tune that's one of the most fun, Rose said, on "Rule 62."
It goes back to that saying: "Don't take yourself too seriously."
This is just a sample of what Rose and I talked about, ahead of her show on Friday at the Triple Crown Whiskey Bar & Raccoon Motel in downtown Davenport. That show will mark her third stop in Davenport in the last 13 months, each time brought to town by area concert booker and promoter Sean Moeller, who has called Rose a "country goddess."
You can hear our full conversation, including why she doesn't talk politics with her fans and how many pairs of cowboy boots she owns, in the next episode of my new podcast, called Worst Town in America, which is available now.