Maggie Rose exudes seemingly boundless energy that defies categorization, from the country spirit she has displayed over eighty-plus appearances on the Grand Ole Opry stage to the funk, soul, and rock-and-roll sensibilities that have endeared the singer-songwriter to a loyal coalition of fans. But when she sat down with co-writers Melissa Fuller and Jason Afable in 2019 to write “Are We There Yet,” a standout track from her forthcoming album, Have a Seat, Rose was feeling run down.
“I was wondering how much longer I’d have to feel like I was just scraping by: busy all the time, crisscrossing the country in a van, absolutely loving making music but growing exhausted by industry politics and inequities,” she says. “I couldn’t breathe for a moment, or consider starting a family, without feeling like everything would topple over. I was worried that I was headed for burnout. However, nothing counteracts these feelings better than gratitude.”
The song, an invitation to appreciate the journey rather than focus on the next rung on the ladder, shows off Rose’s dynamic vocals while basking in a groove that sounds distinctly Muscle Shoals—fitting, as Have a Seat was recorded at the legendary FAME Studios. Produced by Ben Tanner of Alabama Shakes, the album features appearances from a host of top-notch talents, including guitar hero Marcus King and Swampers bassist David Hood. And the turmoil of the year-plus since recording Have a Seat has offered Rose a new perspective on some of the album’s songs—particularly “Are We There Yet.”
“My appreciation for what I had when I first wrote this song skyrocketed,” Rose says. “I almost felt ashamed of how I had constantly been in the ‘If only I had this, I’d be good’ mentality. I’m re-emerging with tremendous gratitude and connection to this music and the audience, feeling like, ‘Hey, I’ve made it. We all have made it together.’”
An apt entry point to Have a Seat and to Rose’s catalog as a whole, “Are We There Yet” shows an artist at the top of her craft—and only improving. Stream “Are We There Yet” below. Have a Seat is set for release on August 20 and available for preorder here.