We caught up with San Antonio (US) artist Chuck Wimer’s single, Desert Rose, here at the Send Me Your Ears studio today. For fans of smooth country/Americana, this is most definitely a track that will be music to your ears.
Desert Rose is a love song for Chuck’s wife. In his own words, “I met my wife when we were in high school in Arizona. We settled in Texas after the military brought us here. Desert Rose was written for my wife as a way of showing how our love started in Arizona and continues here in Texas.”
“I know I’m not what she deserves
I don’t have a lot but that’s all right with her”
Even before the track started, we knew it would be a country song. Any band whose tour dates are listed at places like the Stetson Dance Hall, and the Thirsty Horse Saloon is pretty much bound to be playing country tunes!
Desert Rose is a gentle and smooth Americana Country track with a simple chord progression that makes the song feel familiar to Country music fans immediately. We absolutely love how Chuck has interlaced 3/4 and 4/4 time signatures in the verses. They blend effortlessly and to the untrained ear, you’d never recognise. It’s a technique that has taken this track to a new level for us, and really forced us to listen more intently.
Desert Rose grabbed our attention immediately with smooth, well blended guitars that drop back just enough when the vocal comes in. Chuck’s voice is warm and has just the right amount of country “twang” in it to make this feel truly authentic.
The bass comes in part way through the first verse and really fills out the sound well, helping to maintain the listener’s interest and keeping us thoroughly engaged. The harmonies in the chorus are subtle, as is the slightly marching feel to the distant snare.
A middle 8 builds gently into a short instrumental section that picks up the pace back into the chorus. By this point, we’re all singing along in our heads. A great stop just before the closing few lines was unexpected and showed us that, whilst this is a fairly standard feeling country song, Chuck Wimer has plenty of tricks up his sleeve to keep our interest right to the last drop of treacle-like warm guitar. Desert Rose ends on a lone vocal line, with the guitar fading out into the distance. A beautiful and well-crafted track.
From a production perspective, we felt that the track feels a little unclear around 200Hz so a cut here would help to reduce some muddiness. There are also some honky tones around 600-700Hz so a small cut here with a boost around 2.5kHz would help with the clarity and presence. Most of the frequencies in the top two octaves are coming from the sibilance in the voice and not from the backing track so a boost in the top end on the accompaniment as a whole would help give it more life and make it sound brighter. Another way to do this would be to use a single band compressor on the top two octaves of the master to add about 5dB of gain and set the threshold so that the sibilance in the vocals creates around 5dB of gain reduction.
Hot on the heels of his win for Best Emerging Male artist award at the Texas Internet Radio Chart Awards in October of 2022, this track is an absolute must for Country music fans across the Southern States.