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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
full bio

Selected Discography


Track List: The Embers Of Time

1. Some Days Im Golden All Night

2. Too Many Things On My Mind

3. New Young

4. You Walked Through The Door

5. Time

6. Pheasant Feather (Feat. Jessie Baylin)

7. Coat For A Pillow

8. JR Worried Blues

9. Ex-Pat Blues

10. Crystal Falls


Track List: Crystal Falls (Single)

1. Crystal Falls


Track List: La Gran Familia Española (Original Score)

1. Brother Caleb

2. Neighborhoods

3. Te Quiero Mama

4. Monica Efrain Wedding

5. Papa Falls Down

6. Friend

7. Caleb Bed Efrain Carla Pool

8. One Of These Days

9. Friend

10. One Of These Days (Instrumental)

11. Safe Combination

12. To The Clock, To The City

13. Friend

14. Monica Efrain Smoke Kiss

15. Adan Final Robo

16. Papa Pincha

17. Diggin' In The Sand

18. Efrain And Carla Hallway Scene

19. Cheese Take

20. Bedroom Kiss

21. Wonderful

22. La Gran Familia

23. Do You Really Want To Be In Love

24. The Family Relies On You

25. Mystery Bride


Track List: Happiness Waltz

1. Julie (Come Out Of The Rain)

2. Simple Pleasure

3. It's Good To Have You

4. City People, City Things

5. This Movie's Way Too Long

6. Our Love

7. A Lot Like Magic

8. Start Up A Family

9. The Western Isles

10. Purple And Beige

11. The Ocean

12. The Happiness Waltz


Track List: El Turista

1. Bienvenido

2. Duerme

3. Lemon Tree

4. Sweet Elaine

5. Mesie Julian

6. I Will Live On Islands

7. Valencia

8. Cotton Eye Joe

9. Las Voces


Track List: Country Mouse Companion

1. Snowfall (Unreleased Demo)

2. It Looks Like Love (Demo)

3. Wonderful (Demo)

4. Clear Coast (Demo)

5. Hollywood Bass Player (Demo)

6. London Bridges (Demo)

7. Kuzbass (Unreleased Demo)

8. Start Again (Unreleased Demo)

9. I Wish We Had (Unreleased Demo)


Track List: Bedroom Classics, Vol. 2

1. Neighbor-Hoods

2. The Last Train

3. Oh, I Need All Of The Love

4. Soul'd Out

5. Daylight Savings Time


Track List: Country Mouse City House

1. Sweetie

2. Italian Dry Ice

3. Hollywood Bass Player

4. God, Please Let Me Go Back

5. Nice To Fit In

6. Pilgrim

7. Domesticated Lovers

8. London Bridges

9. Snowy


Track List: Subtitulo

1. Quiet Town

2. Summertime

3. It Looks Like Love

4. La Costa Blanca

5. Jersey Clowns

6. His Majesty Rides

7. Givin' It Up

8. Wonderful

9. The Man Who...

10. El Otro Lado


Track List: Nashville

1. It's The Nighttime

2. Winter In The Hamptons

3. Streetlights

4. Carolina

5. Middle School Frown

6. My Love Has Gone

7. Saturday

8. Sad Eyes

9. Why Won't You Tell Me What

10. Life


Track List: The Smooth Sounds Of Josh Rouse

1. Michigan

2. Princess On The Porch

3. Knights Of Loneliness

4. I Just Want To Live

5. A Well Respected Man

6. Kentucky Flood

7. Pittsburgh

8. Me Gusta Dormir

9. Scenes From A Bar In Toronto

10. Smile

11. Comeback (Light Therapy)

12. Under Your Charms

13. Love Vibration

14. Sunshine (Come On Lady)

15. Slaveship

16. 1972

17. Rise

18. Feeling No Pain

19. Miracle

20. Late Night Conversation

21. Under Cold Blue Stars

22. Flight Attendant

23. Directions


Track List: 1972

1. 1972

2. Love Vibration

3. Sunshine (Come On Lady)

4. James

5. Slaveship

6. Come Back

7. Under Your Charms

8. Flight Attendant

9. Sparrows Over Birmingham

10. Rise


Track List: Under Cold Blue Stars

1. Twilight

2. Nothing Gives Me Pleasure

3. Miracle

4. Christmas With Jesus

5. Under Cold Blue Stars

6. Ugly Stories

7. Feeling No Pain

8. Ears To The Ground

9. Summer Kitchen Ballad

10. Women And Men

11. The Whole Night Through


Track List: Dressed Up Like Nebraska

1. Suburban Sweetheart

2. Dressed Up Like Nebraska

3. Invisible

4. Late Night Conversation

5. Flair

6. The White Trash Period Of My Life

7. A Simple Thing

8. A Woman Lost In Serious Problems

9. Lavina

10. Reminiscent


Track List: Home

1. Laughter

2. Marvin Gaye

3. Directions

4. Parts And Accessories

5. 100M Backstroke

6. Hey Porcupine

7. In Between

8. And Around

9. Afraid To Fail

10. Little Know It All


Track List: New Young (Single)

1. New Young


Track List: You Walked Through The Door (Single)

1. You Walked Through The Door


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Proverbs 31:2-9 What, my son? and what, the son of my womb? and what, the son of my vows?
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Give not thy strength unto women, nor thy ways to that which destroyeth kings. It is not for kings, O Lemuel, it is not for kings to drink wine; nor for princes strong drink: Lest they drink, and forget the law, and pervert the judgment of any of the afflicted. Give strong drink unto him that is ready to perish, and wine unto those that be of heavy hearts. Let him drink, and forget his poverty, and remember his misery no more.
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Open thy mouth for the dumb in the cause of all such as are appointed to destruction. Open thy mouth, judge righteously, and plead the cause of the poor and needy. IN OTHER WORDS Don’t waste your strength on women. Women destroy kings, so don’t waste yourself on them. Lemuel, it is not wise for KINGS to drink wine. It is not wise for RULERS to want beer. They may drink too much and forget what the law says. Then they might take away the rights of the poor.
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GIVE BEER TO PEOPLE WITHOUT HOPE. GIVE WINE TO THOSE WHO ARE IN TROUBLE. LET THEM DRINK TO FORGET THEIR TROUBLES. LET THEM FORGET THEY ARE POOR. Speak up for people who cannot speak for themselves. Help people who are in trouble. Stand up for what you know is right, and judge all people fairly. Protect the rights of the poor and those who need help.
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Revelation 17:14 These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful.Rev e l a t i o n 19:16 And he have on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, King Of Kings, And Lord Of Lords. WE ARE KINGS & LORDS
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Thank you for real honest music. Best of success in your life's journey, ups downs & sideways!
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I HAD A DISTURBING DREAM... BUT GOD! Father YOU told me to Ask, Seek and Knock then the door SHALL BE OPEN FOR ME! I have done as you taught me NOW I ask Father that YOUR will be done for me to be sober and vigilant; because my adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walks about, seeking whom he MAY devour: Father Out of the same mouth you have given me proceeds Blessing and Cursing and this ought not so to be since i AM your Child! Father teach me how to go after my adversary, to smote them, so
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Thank YOU for arming me with the armour of your WORD, were I shall Stand having my loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousnes s ; And my feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, thank YOU for teaching me to take the shield of faith, where I shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And thank You for teaching me how to take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: that utterance may be g
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Too namby pamby for me and whistling annoys the hell out of me. Thumbs down
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His musical journey has been great! Keep up the good music and songwriting under the Cold Blue Stars!
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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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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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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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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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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 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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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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'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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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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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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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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