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Josh Rouse

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Birthday: Mar 09, 1972

Birthplace: Not Available

Songwriter Josh Rouse was a key figure in the '90s Americana movement but soon expanded his sound to a more diverse palette. Born in Oshkosh, Nebraska, he came to Clarksdale, TN for college but wound up dropping out and settling in Nashville, where he parked cars at the Renaissance Hotel.  He began pitching songs and playing acoustic showcases, releasing his debut, Dressed Up Like Nebraska, on the Rykodisc-associated Slow River label in 1998. Informed by the dreamier end of indie rock (he'd begun working with members of the Nashville indie band Lambchop) the album favored slow tempos and meditations on the darker side of romance.  Onstage Rouse projected the image of a traveling troubadour, often sporting scruffy facial hair and a porkpie hat.  The sophomore album Home continued the dreamy vibe, appropriately placing a song ("Directions") in Cameron Crowe's fantasy movie "Vanilla Sky" (2001). By now Rouse was regularly touring with some of the brighter indie-pop songwriters, including Marshall Crenshaw and Mark Eitzel, and his music gradually opened to pop influences. These emerged strongest on the 2003 album 1972, named for his birth year and steeped in the influence of Jackson Browne, Fleetwood Mac and Marvin Gaye. It became a cult hit and Rouse playfully referenced his new musical direction in the title of a followup live album, The Smooth Sounds of Josh Rouse. He'd continue to embrace the soft-rock direction on his later Nashville albums, Nashville and Subtitulo, both of which alluded lyrically to the end of his first marriage. He met his second wife, Spanish visual artist Paz Suay, around this time, and she influenced both his life and music: His 2010 album El Turista included Spanish-language lyrics and Spanish/Brazilian musical influences. He and Suay collaborated on a number of songs and even recorded an EP together, She's Spanish, I'm American.  Valencia, Spain would continue to be his recording base, and in 2014 he won a Spanish Goya Award for the song "Do You Really Want to Be in Love?" (from the film "La Gran Familia Española" (2013)). Rouse's 2015 album The Embers of Time marked a shift away from his now-characteristic sunniness: Inspired by his experiences with Gestalt therapy, its lyrics all dealt with a midlife crisis, though the mood was usually more reassuring than despairing. He shifted gears once again for 2018's Love in the Modern Age, whose synthesizers and light techno-pop beats bore out his longstanding love for New Order, Prefab Sprout, The Blue Nile and their '80s Brit-pop ilk.

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No Score Yet 52% Family United Original Music - 2013

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