Josh Rouse: The Embers of Time (YepRoc/Southbound)

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Josh Rouse: When You Walked Through the Door
Josh Rouse: The Embers of Time (YepRoc/Southbound)

For more than two decades this singer-songwriter – who started in Nashville and now works from his decade-long home in Spain -- has released under-appreciated albums (Under Cold Blue Stars in 02 and Nashville of 05)

But also some which were slight and polite but felt half-hearted.

But even then he was worth hearing and very much in the laconic, Paul Simon mold.

With strings, steel guitar and a gentle country-rock feel, these 10 songs have the same Simonesque ease in their personal lyrics which speak of his uncertainties (Some Days I'm Golden All Night, Time), hopes (the Neil Young-like, harmonica coloured rumination of moving to the country on New Young) and outsider status in Spain (Ex-Pat Blues).

As befits his years – early 40s, two kids – he takes a clear-eyed look at life's vicissitudes, concludes there are no easy answers (if there are answers at all) and celebrates the redemptive power of love (You Walked Through the Door).

Recorded in Spain and Nashville, there's a comfort in his understated songs and although Rouse is perhaps resigned to being a minor musical figure this album is a welcome, thoughtful house guest.

Quite a number of Josh Rouse albums and a retrospective are at Elsewhere here

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