Josh Rouse: Best of the Ryko Years, 1995-2005 (Ryko/Elite)

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JOsh Rouse: Miserable South
Josh Rouse: Best of the Ryko Years, 1995-2005 (Ryko/Elite)

Some artists may always be the private passion of a few, and you sense this American singer-songwriter is hailed by some and utterly unfamiliar to most, many of whom would like him if they only knew.

Rouse has been a regular at Elsewhere and his albums like Under Cold Blue Stars (02), the slightly troublking 1972 (of 03 when some said he'd retreated into LA-lite pop) and the terrific Nashville (04) have all found favour in my household.

This double disc retrospective is the ideal dropping-in point if Rouse has gone past you: 19 songs from half a dozen albums, six from his 2001 EP Bedroom Classics which is a collector's item, and seven previously unreleased tracks (demos and outtakes).

Rouse is a proper singer-songwriter in that he writes the songs and finds the right tune to match, whether that draws from indie-rock, alt-folk, country or -- yes -- LA-lite types of the early 70s.

This is persuasive evidence that Josh Rouse has a warmth, insight and the songs which make him a very welcome house-guest.

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Lianne - Dec 19, 2008

I've just always liked the guy - I have every album & I find him great to chill out to at the end of the week! And I liked the "office party video" on his 1972 album... with bonus dvd! He's often sublime but then when he gets going...I get going! It's like the boy next door has come over to visit & brought his guitar along for a jam session just for me! I didn't start off a fan but I slowly became one....

Craig - Jan 16, 2009

Josh is ridiculously under-rated. I became a huge fan while living in London (2002-2006) and managed to catch four gigs there during that time. The standout was a stunning acoustic set at 'The Borderline' - he was touring 'Under Cold Blue Stars' but played a fair bit of 'Dressed Up Like Nebraska', which is in my top 3 albums of all time. I picked this up today despite owning all the albums (when it comes to Josh I'm a 'completist' for sure). Sad to think he'll probably never make it down to NZ......I live in hope.

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