Sometimes you want to listen to music that transports you to another place, that tells you a short story, and makes your day feel slightly more bright and thoughtful. Josh Rouse’s latest record El Turista offers exactly that type of melodic antidote -- the kind of album that invites you to forget your to-do list and demands your attention.
Although born in Nebraska, Rouse lived in various cities throughout his childhood due to his father's military career and then carried on the tradition of moving from place to place as an adult. Five years ago, the musician relocated to Spain where perhaps he’s found a sense of home and roots. On El Turista, his 8th studio release, Rouse sings in Spanish and English, and in addition to the homage to his new Valencia home the record incorporates influences reaching from Brazil to Cuba to Africa.
“I know it’s kind of funny, this Midwestern guy doing Brazilian songs in Spanish,” says Rouse. “I don’t know if it fits, but I like the way it feels.”
His new songs continue the consistently enthralling body of work highlighted by the modern-day landmark albums 1972 and Nashville. Rouse says part of the inspiration for the new project was to make a jazz record, but it wasn’t until his wife played him the music of Cuban singer and pianist Bola de Nieve that he found the jumping off point for crafting the songs. The result is beautiful. Throughout El Turista, simple, Spanish-influenced street rhythms unfurl into epic versions of Guaraldi-like jazz numbers, offering yet another genre-blending album that is as sophisticated as it is infectious.
Official artist website: www.joshrouse.com
Photo Credit: Jim Herrington
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