Heads up, all you fans of retro-kitsch fun. Isabel Rose has got your number. Make that numbers, as she’s swingin’ into Stephen Talkhouse on August 30 to deliver an evening of music spanning her whole career.
It’s a career that’s on an upward track, as Rose’s sexy video for “Never Satisfied,” a catchy song from her latest CD Trouble in Paradise, racks up views and likes on YouTube. The song is a surprisingly modern-sounding rocker for Rose, written by Bianca Mancinelli and produced by veteran producer Bob Rock. The song’s very, ahem, revealing video features Rose in a variety of fetching costumes—costumes that gradually cover less and less of her. And while striptease does not feature in Isabel Rose’s live act, certainly costume changes do play a part.
“I’ll definitely do at least one costume change. I’ll probably wind up in sequins at some point,” Rose says. She notes that the Talkhouse is a pretty relaxed venue, and probably not the kind of place to try to put on a Cher-style fashion show of a concert. The focus, instead, will be on the music.
“The theme of the show is going to be ‘temptation’,” says Rose. “That’s also the title of a song on my first CD (Swingin’ From the Hip), so that’s on the set list. I’m digging deep and far into my repertoire to present a lot of fan favorites, and I’m really excited to bring them all out. We’re going to do ‘Girl Talk’, which is a great old-school number, ‘The Glamorous Life’—the great Prince song recorded by Sheila E., ‘The Logical Song’ by Supertramp—a wide variety of music.”
Also included will be Rose’s signature cover of Huey Lewis and the News’s hit “I Want a New Drug,” plus her heavily personalized version of Nirvana’s “Come As You Are” and her Billie Holiday-esque take on—of all things—the Sesame Street theme.
“It’s going to be the most fun show ever,” Rose says.
Isabel Rose is all about that fun. She says that for her, putting on a show is like throwing a party with herself playing the hostess and the audience her guests. Like any good hostess, she wants her guests to relax and enjoy themselves—and to leave her show feeling uplifted.
This attitude provided a backdrop for Rose’s first hit video on YouTube, which was for her retro-fantasy version of “Aquarius.” In the video, Rose plays a flight attendant who has the magical power to provide her planeful of happy passengers with anything their hearts desire—an ice cream cone, an ice-cold martini, a pet bunny—all while she sings and dances around in go-go boots.
You can’t necessarily expect to get a pet bunny at Rose’s Talkhouse concert, but you will get to hear a hot 8-piece band. Musical director and keyboardist Tedd Firth has assembled a great ensemble to back up Rose, a group that includes two backup singers and Roger Squitero, one of the greatest Latin percussionists in the business.
For her own part, Rose can’t wait to get back to the Talkhouse. “It’s such a comfortable venue—you don’t feel like there’s a lot of rules to follow—people feel like they can just relax and have a really good time. It’s one of my most favorite rooms. You can feel the history there.”
But while the history is cool, with Rose the emphasis is always on the fun. As she points out, the summer is almost over, and we all know what’s coming—and it won’t be fun. In other words, it’s time to party!
Rose points out, “It’s the last weekend in August, so it’s really the last chance to just lose our minds.”
Isabel Rose plays Stephen Talkhouse at 8 p.m. on Sunday, August 30; 161 Main Street, Amagansett, 631-267-3117, stephentalkhouse.com. Tickets are $30.