Published Mar 01, 2000While gearing up to record his second album, American singer/songwriter Josh Rouse set his sights on inspiring a little dance fever. Tired of looking up to see his fans stoically watching back, the Nashville-based musician turned up the groove quotient in order to get them on the good foot. "I wanted to do stuff that moved a little bit, especially after going to shows where everyone just stood there like they were at a Pink Floyd show. Every show I go to not only mine, but other people's it's the same deal," he says, adding there's been plenty of times he felt like asking people if they're having fun or not. "I mean, I like listening to music, too I'm not a huge dancer or anything. But it's fun to go see a show where people can move to the music, even if it's just wiggling their ass a little bit it's something."
Anyone familiar with Rouse's emotional roots rock forays, 1998's Dressed Up Like Nebraska and last year's winning collaboration with Lambchop’s Kurt Wagner, the Chester EP, needn't worry that he's lost the plot. It's unlikely he'll be mistaken for the Lord of the Dance anytime soon. Like earlier efforts, the new disc Home puts the focus on the artist's plaintive voice and dramatic story/songs. Only this time, he's paid more attention to tempo and pacing.
“It's hookier,” Rouse says. “Groove-wise, this is more of a pop record. Everything comes to a big grand ending. They all start off real spare and they keep building. After I was finished, I was listening to the record and realised every song ends with these dramatic strings and horns and drums and everything. It's OK though, I guess that's the way I like to record and overdub 'em. The set that we're playing now has got a good beat to about every song, so we'll see what happens. I'll make people get the groove on and make the record become the next Purple Rain.”