Josh Rouse @ Third & Lindsley / Nashville TN / June 20, 2015

DSCN5368Despite the fact that he now lives in Spain, Josh Rouse will forever be a Music City resident in our hearts. On the final night of a brief US tour to promote his latest release, The Embers of Time, Rouse returned home to the Third & Lindsley stage where he last appeared two years ago.

One change to the band this time was Nashvillian James Haggerty’s return on bass. Hags, who along with drummer Marc Pisapia, were (and I guess still are) members of Nashville pop band, Joe, Marc’s Brother as well as longtime Rouse bandmates. Rounding out the quartet was the slick guitarist from Spain, Xema Fuertes, who played with Josh last time round.

DSCN5356While the new Embers record finds Rouse sharing his not always pleasant feelings about himself, the approaching middle age singer-songwriter was in a joyful high-spirited mood throughout the evening. Opening the show with the calendar-fitting “Saturday,” Rouse wove a scattering of friendly faves in and around some of the latest record’s melancholy tunes. In fact, at one point, Josh gave us one of those loose “last night of the tour” statements in which he truthfully told us they would be playing more songs than usual. He also encouraged the crowd to get off their feet remarking that this was the lone venue of the tour that even had seats.

DSCN5365Further last-night antics also included (1) drummer Pisapia singing lead on “Hollywood Bass Player”, (2) opening act Walter Martin (bass player for indie band, The Walkman) fronting the band for the title track of his new adult-friendly children’s record, and (3) Rouse leaving the stage to frolic among the crowd while singing the lively “Love Vibration.”

DSCN5366DSCN5370Only 43 years old with a dozen great records under his belt, Josh Roush still remains to me one of the most solid singer-songwriters working today. On “New Young” from the current record, Rouse laments of a dream about Neil Young and closes with the line “I’ll never be that good, you know.” Well, to this listener, nothing could be further from the truth. While Josh may never approach the commercial appeal and legendary status of Neil, there’s no record Young has released since Josh’s 1998 debut Dressed Up Like Nebraska in 1998 that I’d rather listen to than one of Rouse’s.

SETLIST:

  1. Saturday
  2. JR Worried Blues
  3. Dressed Up Like Nebraska
  4. A Lot Like Magic
  5. Comeback (Light Therapy)
  6. I Will Live on Islands
  7. Julie (Come Out of the Rain)
  8. New Young
  9. Crystal Falls
  10. Lemon Tree
  11. My Love is Gone
  12. Why Won’t You Tell Me What
  13. You Walked Through the Door
  14. Simple Pleasure
  15. Hollywood Bass Player (Marc Pisapia on lead vocal)
  16. It’s the Nighttime
  17. Some Days I’m Golden All Night
  18. We’re All Young Together (Walter Martin on lead vocal)
  19. Winter in the Hamptons
  20. Time (solo)
  21. 1972 (solo)
  22. Slave Ship
  23. Love Vibration

BAND:
Josh Rouse – acoustic and electric guitars and vocals
Xema Fuertes – electric guitar
James Haggerty – bass
Marc Pisapia – drums and backing vocals

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