Josh Rouse and scenic Valencia

One of the many acts we've covered that I listen to for mere pleasure consistently is Josh Rouse. I wondered why recently, and came to the conclusion that that's the way his songs are written and the discs get cut, in the spirit of kicking back and having a good time. Still, the music and lyrics are sufficiently provocative and interesting, but the production always has an offhanded feel, at least the last few records. That has a lot to do with Josh, but also with producer Brad Jones, drummer Marc Pisapia, bassist James "Hags" Haggerty (the last two are his stalwart touring partners), and sometimes the addition of Curt Perkins or Daniel Tashian on a host of instruments. Jones in particular has got a groove factor that won't quit, regardless of the style he's operating in. I'm convinced the cat could make metal swing.

But the artist himself is a funky mystery. He has a way of putting together songs that just have an irresistibly infectious quality, that just keeps you coming back for another listen, to just leave it on repeat a while. In eight short years he has released nine times, either CDs, EPs, or a DVD. His tenure with Rykodisc generated a presence at AAA radio that will no doubt continue through his current venture on his Bedroom Classics imprint distributed by Nettwerk. He's not only big with his peers and the college stations, his appeal reaches far into the groove-hungry ears of all ages beyond. It's a retro and softer groove that he's pitching, so it's not a reach in any way for those who were already grown in the year of the cat.

And now he's moved to Spain. He's got a beautiful Spanish girlfriend (Paz, it means peace) who sings on his record, a place in Valencia near the beach...some guys. Subtitulo is the mellow, nylon-string side of the man, and the vocal sound is pure Josh this time around, but the groove index is still high. It's a summertime record made at Paco Loco's in Spain, with midnight suppers on the breezy veranda. Gimme a break. It rocks, we love it.    continue to interview