Rose Cousins performs in the Radio Heartland studio

Rose Cousins Band
Rose Cousins and her band. (Lisa McIntosh)
Rose Cousins and her band, with John Gorka, perform at Radio Heartland (full session + interview)
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  • Rose Cousins and her band, with John Gorka, perform at Radio Heartland (full session + interview) 41:10
  • Rose Cousins - Chosen (Live on Radio Heartland) 04:21
  • Rose Cousins - Freedom (Live on Radio Heartland) 04:26
  • Rose Cousins - Tender Is The Man (Live on Radio Heartland) 02:24
  • Rose Cousins - Donoughmore (Live on Radio Heartland) 02:54
  • Rose Cousins and John Gorka - The Gypsy Life (Live on Radio Heartland) 04:04

I've already been raving about the new Rose Cousins album, Natural Conclusion, but it's nice to know that I'm not alone with my feelings about it. Both The Guardian and CBC Music have put the album on their top-ten lists for Americana albums of 2017 so far.

This album took some time to make. Rose was burned out from the road by 2014 or so, and she took time off to slow down, work with other songwriters, do some photography and let music just happen. After collecting a handful of songs, she contacted Joe Henry to produce the new recording. The two collaborated on the songs, and the musicians and recorded the album in 2016 in Toronto.

Naturally, with a new record, Rose left her Halifax, N.S., home, set out on the road again and landed here in the Twin Cities for an evening at The Dakota Jazz Club in Minneapolis. But the club was concerned that a Minnesota audience wouldn't know Rose's music, so they booked local icon John Gorka to "present" Rose in concert. As it happens, Rose is a HUGE fan of John's, and John feels the same about Rose's music.

I couldn't resist. I had to ask, and they said yes. Rose brought her band into the studio to chat about the album, and John came along, too. Two of my favorite songwriters in one room! I hope you enjoy this session as much as I did.

Songs Performed

"Tender Is The Man"
"The Gypsy Life"
The first four songs are from Rose Cousins' 2017 album, Natural Conclusion, available on Old Farm Pony Records/Outside Music. "The Gypsy Life" is from John Gorka's 1992 album, Temporary Road, released on High Street Records.


Rose Cousins - guitar, vocals
John Gorka - guitar, vocals
Asa Brosius - pedal steel
Zachariah Hickman - bass, vocals
Jamie Dick - drums, percussion

Hosted and produced by Mike Pengra
Engineered by Johnny Vince Evans and Corey Schreppel
Visuals by Evan Frost


Rose Cousins - official site

John Gorka - official site

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  • Rose Cousins performs in the Radio Heartland studio Rose Cousins recently released 'Stray Birds', an EP of originals and covers. Rose stopped by the Radio Heartland studio to play some songs and to talk about her hometowns and her love of music.
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  • John Gorka talks about 'Before Beginning' John Gorka's career-catapulting album, 'I Know,' was released in 1987, but he had actually recorded an earlier version in 1985, which Gorka didn't feel was quite right. Fast-forward to 2016, and Gorka has a different opinion about that earlier session; the older recording has now been released as 'Before Beginning - the Unreleased I Know'. Gorka stopped in to Radio Heartland to talk to Mike Pengra about the two albums and to compare versions of a few tunes.

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