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Josh Rouse

Although born in Nebraska, singer/songwriter Josh Rouse moved to various cities throughout his childhood and subsequent musical career, driven at first by his father's military career and later by his desire to take inspiration from different environments. He paid tribute to his birthplace on his 1998 debut, Dressed Up Like Nebraska, and explored the influence of his adopted home state, Tennessee, with 2005's Nashville. Rouse later settled in Spain and explored the country's musical traditions, although his songwriting continued to exhibit the summery, rootsy appeal of his earlier work.

As a child, Rouse spent time in California, Utah, Wyoming, Nebraska, South Dakota, Georgia, and Arizona. Music was one of the few constants in a life filled with new towns, new schools, and new friends, and he took comfort in bands like the Smiths and the Cure. After receiving several guitar lessons from his uncle, Rouse began writing songs as an 18-year-old and molded himself into a skilled composer, eventually scoring a contract with the Rykodisc subsidiary Slow River. His debut album, Dressed Up Like Nebraska, was released in 1998 to widespread critical acclaim. He pulled up stakes shortly thereafter and resettled in Nashville, where he was befriended by Kurt Wagner, frontman of the chamber country group Lambchop. The two began writing together and issued a collaborative EP, Chester, in the fall of 1999.

Rouse's second solo record, Home, appeared the following spring and was followed by Under Cold Blue Stars in 2002. He then launched a partnership with producer Brad Jones -- known for his work with pop artists like Marshall Crenshaw, Matthew Sweet, and Jill Sobule -- and the resulting album, 1972, was both an homage to the soft rock sounds of Rouse's youth and a deepening of his sound. Before the release of his next album, however, Rouse's marriage ended and he moved from Nashville to Spain. Released in 2005, Nashville served as a farewell to both the city and his marriage; it was also his most fully realized record to date, featuring Brad Jones' lush production and Rouse's poignant, nostalgic lyrics.

Once in Spain, Rouse settled in the small seaside town of Puerto de Santa Maria and began writing songs shaped by his new surroundings. Jones eventually flew into town, and the two captured a relaxed and intimate vibe on 2006's Subtitulo. After the release of two EPs (Bedroom Classics, Vol. 2 and She's Spanish, I'm American, the latter of which was recorded with Rouse's girlfriend, artist Paz Suay), Rouse chose to handle his own production for 2007's Country Mouse City House. He also married Suay, became a father, and relocated to Valencia's Mediterranean coast.

Rouse's eighth studio album, El Turista, was released in 2010, a full five years after his relocation to Spain. Living abroad for half a decade had left an indelible mark on the songwriter, who sang several of the album's tracks in Spanish. Ironically, the bulk of El Turista was recorded in Nashville with Brad Jones, a move that only strengthened the globe-trotting appeal of Rouse's songwriting. For the 2011 release Josh Rouse & the Long Vacations, the singer/songwriter drew from the AM radio sounds he grew up with, as well as present-day influences from his adopted home of Spain. His next album, 2013's The Happiness Waltz, jettisoned all the Spanish influences and returned to the sound of his early-2000s albums. After tumbling into depression and questioning many of his life choices, Rouse went into therapy, and his experiences informed his 2015 release The Embers of Time, which Rouse described with tongue in cheek as "my surreal ex-pat therapy record." ~ Andrew Leahey, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

Comments

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Amazing!!
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tmartinez03
His musical journey has been great! Keep up the good music and songwriting under the Cold Blue Stars!
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kimjo727
The only album my Mom would let buy when I was a kid.
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Ugh Josh Rouse is such a dream. I Love him, his music and his overall vibe! Surusly
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I love that he went back to how he sounded in the 2000's!!
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Crazy. I went to school with this guy. Good sound. Much love from Paxton, NE, sir.
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wow, what a guy. live the dream people.
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(( I Will Live On Islands )) -- i could have sworn that was Paul SImon. ... I am surprised the bio gives no homage at all to Simon as an influence on Josh. There is no way on earth he accidentally cut songs that happened to sound that way with the percussive sound and exact vocal delivery. It's no criticism of Josh.. I just see Smiths and The Cure listed as influences -- which is cool, but jeez, when you hear a track like that it's impossible to deny the obvious :)
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The more I hear from him, the more I like. Thank you Pandora!!! Sad Eyes and Feelng No Pain get double thumbs up.
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david.l.weig e l
Haha. qjmadsen9 - "Although" was used to express the fact that Josh Rouse was born in Nebraska, BUT spent most of his life in various cities due to his father's military career and his desire to be exposed to different people.

Example: Although I was born in Korea, I spent the majority of my life being raised in Midwest America.

Funny observation, nonetheless.
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"Although" born in Nebraska? It's not some sort of obstacle he had to overcome.
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"Although" born in Nebraska? It's not some sort of obstacle he had to overcome.
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zeppelin9
Yes Josh is good but to me the production is the real star here.
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I'm really falling in love w/ Josh Rouse's music... He's pretty phenomenal. Love his sound!
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my favorite of all the talented young singer songwriters
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Absolutely the best music whether I'm working, relaxing, or entertaining ! Love the melodies, beat, acoustics and some great lyrics too! Continue on creating Josh!
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Wonderful.
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jmalcombe
I love Josh Rouse WOW what a genius! I discovered a song on satelite tv and i'm totally hooked. Where has he been hiding? Someone needs to market this powerhouse appropriatel y , he would be HUGE. What a breath of fresh air and a super talent !!! I wish he would tour lafayette louisiana, in cajun country!
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Josh Rouse - makes great records; as good a songwriter as you will find in the past ten years. Also terrific live. Highly, highly recommended.
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stl5003
love this music.
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Any news of a new album some time soon?
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GREAT artist!!! He was definitely my "favorite new find" 2 years ago when i first heard Nashville. Keep it coming Josh. Great rainy day music to work to up here in the Pacific Northwest.
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On his tune, "Rise" on 1972, he sounds real similar to Paul Simon back in the day
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jeremy.thorn h i l l
Wow, I honestly thought I was listening to some kind of unreleased Wilco song when I first heard Josh Rouse come up. Good stuff so far.
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amriggle
I was recently introduced to Josh's music and fell in love immediately. In fact, it was just last week when I first heard any of Josh's music...live in Minneapolis. . . a n d I fell in love with it immediately! I am now trying to catch up on all that he has to offer. He's amazing!
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thejames07
I loves me some Josh. He's like a less depressing Ryan Adams. Gotta love it.
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I have been a big fan of this guy since I bought 1972 a few years ago. This guy is good at what he doues. No doubt. One of my favorites. Give me that AM GOLD JOSH ROUSE!
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Nice stuff.
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eg042680
'the white trash period of my life'... it's on my big list and, in my opinion, josh's best song
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Just heard some of his music and already getting hooked!!!
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amanda722
When I heard that Josh was coming to Denver on his tour I literally jumped up and down. I have a huge library of music and spend a lot of time exploring, but for some reason JR is the only artist that I am completely loyal to. My musician friends tell me I tend to lean towards 70's sounds which may explain why I love 1972 so much. It's current but still nostalgic. My favorite songs are "Snowy" on CMCH and "It Looks Like Love" from Subtitulo.
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Agree with everything written, I own two of his albums and plan on buying the rest soon....well when money finds its way to my wallet
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Such a great songwriter. I bought my first Josh Rouse album(Under cold blue stars) while living in Nashville, pursuing my own songwriting dreams. I can always spin that record and escape, if only for a little while. Certainly underappreci a t e d as an artist.
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country mouse may be the best yet......... a n d I have em'all
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cinnammonsv
one of the most important and inspiring songwriters in my life...maybe he'll be yours, too...
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Scanning through my Damien Rice Playlist, his song 1972 popped up. Love it love it love it. amazing stuff
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So i'm in Barnes and Noble one day when i see this cd by a guy who happened to share my last name. I ended up buying it just for the hell off it...and got hooked. Before I knew it I had downloaded his entire discography and bought tickets to an upcoming show! Josh Rouse is simply the best out there...if only I were actually related to him!
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marcyr
let's all just chilllax
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His songs grow on you...
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Smart, catchy as hell, mesmerizing at times, and a great live performer. Absolutely worth exploring.

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