THE SMOOTH SOUNDS OF JOSH ROUSE (Ryko)
Love it. There should be a lot more of this kind of offering around, and Im sure there will be soon. Its a great hometown gig (Nashville, New Years eve 2003) with tasty but minimal production and a great band behind an original and appealing singer songwriter.
One of my favorite rhythm sections is propelling the enterprise, James "Hags" Haggerty on bass and Marc Pisapia on drums and beautiful vocals. Curt Perkins is a key element on piano and vocals, laptop, and guitar on a few tunes, including his co-write, "Feeling No Pain." The very musical Daniel Tashian shines characteristically, also on piano and laptop, but principally on guitar and vocals.
A big part of Josh Rouses magnetism is that he is endearingly understated. His smile is so infectiously real, his body language so Nebraska cool. I just saw him play at this same joint (The Exit/In) a few nights ago, and with this video I am revisiting the excellent time I had. Hes playing mostly the tunes from his latest release, 1972, which retro rocks. Two of Joshs radio hits are splendid outside additions, "Under Cold Blue Stars," which he co-wrote with the multitalented Pat Sansome (whos on tour with Wilco), and "Directions," from the Home CD. (see our review)
There are three parts to this package: there is the live show, then theres a documentary by Matt Boyd called "The Many Moods of Josh Rouse" featuring cool footage of people like pop producer Brad Jones and Kurt Wagner of Lambchop (who did a CD with Josh called Chester) talking about 1972 and lots of other stuff, and theres also a bonus CD called Rarities (from which well include a few clips on the Listen page).
In a town full of songwriters of every kind and vintage, its huge that Ryko plucked Josh Rouse from the herd years ago and has been steadily pushing his great music out into the world. The band has been touring the world year in year out, dont miss them when they come to your town. Pick up 1972, and were also big fans of Under Cold Blue Stars and Home. (And check out our mini-interview with Josh if you havent already.)
For fans of Josh Rouse and newcomers alike, the Smooth Sounds DVD is a must have. This is a tremendously cool and intimate portrait of a band, of a great writer, we need more of this stuff. Buy it here.
director matt boyd's foundpictures.com
check out the site of photographer thomas petillo