Rootsy singer-songwriter Josh Rouse recently released The Holiday Sounds of Josh Rouse, although he never thought he would release a Christmas album! And he’s going one step further to play Christmas songs at Jammin’ Java on Thursday, Dec. 12.
“I was never a holiday record kind of guy,” Josh confessed. “Growing up, I remember hearing Vince Guaraldi and Bing Crosby and all the staples everybody listens to each winter, but I never collected Christmas music or anything like that.”
It makes sense, then, that The Holiday Sounds of Josh Rouse isn’t your typical yuletide collection. Written off-and-on over the course of the last 10 years, the record is joyful and festive of course, but, much like the holiday season itself, it’s also laced with an undercurrent of longing and melancholy. For every playful portrait of giddy lovers on New Year’s Eve, there’s a stranded traveler spending Christmas alone; for every slick St. Nick in a suit and sunglasses there’s a lonely ex-pat waiting by the mailbox for cards that never seem to come.
The arrangements are eclectic and intoxicating, drawing equal influence from Rouse’s Midwestern childhood and his decade-and-a-half spent living in Spain, and the performances here are sparkling and fizzy to match, blending jazz sophistication with rootsy sincerity and sly crooner charm. The result is a holiday record built for the long haul, a wholesome, whip smart collection that’s guaranteed to stay with you well after the snow has melted and all the decorations have come down.
Watch the official music video for “Mediterranean X-Mas” by Josh Rouse on YouTube:
Hailed by NPR as “one of contemporary music’s most engaging singer-songwriters,” Josh first emerged in 1998 with Dressed Up Like Nebraska, a stunning debut that Billboard proclaimed to be a “dark horse gem.” Over the next 20 years, Josh would go on to release 11 more critically acclaimed albums, honing in on a warm, ruminative sound that fused elements of vintage folk, rock, and pop with modern insight and observation.
Thursday, Dec. 12
Doors @ 6:30pm