STEUBENVILLE - Mingo Junction resident and singer/songwriter Rose Angelica claimed she knew what girls really wanted, and that led to an unexpected second career as a country music star.
Angelica penned the song "Girls Just Wanna Drink Beer" as a light-hearted spoof with a twist on the bar scene, and that song not only landed her a contract with Lamon Records of Nashville but also an unexpected career as a country music singer. Angelica has spent the past year touring and promoting her four-song EP recorded in Nashville last year.
A video for the song shot at the Spot Bar last summer led to something even more unlikely - a hit record and a new rising star on the Americana circuit. Now Angelica is returning home and celebrating after appearing at the Nashville Songwriters' Festival and the Country Music Association's Fanfair Festival.
PAYING?RESPECT – Rose Angelica takes some time out from her recent touring to pay respects at the graves of two of her country heroes —June Carter and Johnny Cash. Angelica will be performing a free show along with her friends, the Four Swinging Jazzbos, the Chrisagis Brothers and Lauren Mascitti, beginning at 3 p.m. Sunday at the Spot Bar in Steubenville.
Angelica is giving her local fans what they want in the form of a free concert, set to begin at 3 p.m. Sunday at the Spot Bar, 217 S. Fourth St. The concert, billed as Rose and her Friends, also will include performances by the Four Swinging Jazzbos, the Chrisagis Brothers and Lauren Mascitti.
Angelica said the event will be a laid back affair and include a barbecue and other surprises. She added it was a way for locals to watch what she does up close and personal.
"The concert is free," she said. "We're going to have a cookout, and it's going to be a mix of jazz, country and gospel."
Angelica said she's enjoyed life on the road, but she's ready for a few weeks back home.
"I've been in Nashville for the past three weeks," she said. "I performed all over town and signed a lot of autographs.
"'Girls Just Wanna Drink Beer' was my big hit and video," she continued, adding there are more songs yet to be released. "This song is doing so well we haven't released (any other songs) yet. This is just a music festival with all my pals. I want to give the valley a different taste of all kinds of different music. This also is the first anniversary of the (shooting of) the actual video for the song."
The road has been kind to Angelica, and she said she's even been opening for rock bands. She's also been labeled as "rockabilly" for the rock shows, she said.
"I played all over Florida at different festivals," she said, adding she also performs songs by her musical heroes such as Hank Williams Sr. "It's been great fun, and everyone's treated me really well, even though I'm old enough to be their mother. Everybody knows the song, and they all say to me, 'Oh - You're the one that wrote that?' Nashville received me well. I was surprised."
Angelica is known locally as a music educator and organizer of the annual Dean Martin Festival, but she said in her heart she's always wanted one thing - to be a top-notch songwriter like her idol Johnny Cash.
"I've always liked country music, and I've seen Cash many times," said Angelica. "My plan was to be a songwriter for the stars. I never dreamed I'd become a performer myself."
Angelica does all her own booking and performs with no backing tracks or a band - just herself and her acoustic guitar. Her stock has risen so fast she's even gained an endorsement deal with Dean guitars. She said performing is all about one thing - having fun.
"My whole thing is to have fun and enjoy myself," she said. "The bars love 'Girls Just Wanna Drink Beer.' It helps them because people want to order beers when I perform it. I also do a lot of older songs, too, including Hank Williams Sr. and junior. I do old country/bluegrass songs, and they eat it up. My own songs - I call them 'the songs of my life.'"
Angelica said she's most proudest of a recent gig for American troops at Fort Knox, Ky.
"I think that's the greatest show I ever played," she said, adding most of troops were home from action in Afghanistan. "They were so excited to be home and alive."
(Miller can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.)