I believe that anyone who appreciates music has had an experience where he or she knew immediately that an artist was good. Not after reading reviews, or having your friend tell you to listen to a CD or song, but simply after picking up an album, or going to a concert.
My favorite instance of this happening personally was when my brother and I went to a Guster concert (who were all the rage for me around 1999-2000 when Lost and Gone Forever came out) and Josh Rouse opened. Neither he nor I had ever heard of Mr. Rouse, but when he started playing, we both knew that he was good, and literally turned to each other and simultaneously said so. I barely remember anything about the Guster show, but I remember Josh Rouse. I went the next day and bought his sophomore album Home.
Since that concert, Mr. Rouse has released 5 albums, a live DVD, and a few EPs. It’s a considerable output, and one that I’ve enjoyed immensely. I’ve always been of the mind that he should be more successful that I imagine he is; while he’s received a little bit of soundtrack love on the Vanilla Sky and The Girl Next Door soundtracks, overall he seems to be flying just below the radar. And maybe he’s content with that.
He’s got his own label – Bedroom Classics – and he’s released a bunch of concerts and previously unreleased tracks on his website. For $30, you get access to everything he’s put out there on his site, new material around the first of every month, and a year’s subscription to Paste Magazine. If you’re already a fan, there’s a lot to dig into.
I don’t know what he’s up to recording-wise these days; he seems like he should be due for a new album, but his site doesn’t have anything in the way of news. There are a couple of shows across the Atlantic listed on the site, and you can buy some albums through his current label here, or through eMusic, and older stuff through Amazon. For some reason, his excellent Nashville album isn’t listed with his other albums on Amazon, but you can get it through them here.
Here are a few of my favorite tracks of his. I’ll be on the lookout for new album news, and will keep you, faithful readers, abreast of any info.
Josh Rouse – Winter In The Hamptons (mp3) from Nashville
Josh Rouse – Slaveship (mp3) from 1972
Josh Rouse – It Looks Like Love (Live In Studio) (mp3) original from Subtitulo