Josh Rouse makes music for good times
Hollywood, Cal., The Largo, May 20, 2004
By Dan MacIntosh
HOLLYWOOD, CA - Back in the hazy 70's, spreading good vibes was actually considered a valid altruistic endeavor by some. Of course, today such an expression may only conjure up nostalgic goose bumps, at best.
Yet when Josh Rouse described these mystical good feelings during the singing of his "Love Vibration," it was as if his "That 70's Show" was, in fact, a reality show. Or better still, true reality. There's just something about Josh Rouse music that makes for good times - and ain't we lucky we got 'em.
Rouse, accompanied by Kurt Perkins on piano (and a little guitar), interspersed a set drawn primarily from his recent "1972" album with stories about shopping for clothes in LA, the people and situations that inspired his songs, and his upcoming trip to Australia. Emotions ranged from the undeniably soulful good feelings found in "Sunshine (Come on Lady)," to the empathetic character study of "James." But whether his stories were happy or sad, his melodies were consistently memorable, just like a lot of the pop music from the aforementioned 70's.
While this was a night that showcased Rouse's songwriting skills, the performer also found room for a wonderful cover of Gillian Welch and David Rawlings' "Look at Miss Ohio," which - with its observant details - fit nicely into the rest of his repertoire. Rouse also picked a few gems from his older albums, such as "Miracle" from "Under Cold Blue Stars" and the title track of "Dressed up Like Nebraska." But it was his "1972" musical time capsule that mainly held center stage.
Pet Rocks and mood rings may now be things of the past (and thankfully so), but Josh Rouse did a mighty fine job tonight of pickin' up the kinds of good vibrations that even would make Brian Wilson proud.