There was a point in the early 2000’s that looked like Josh Rouse would become more of a household name. He had released three albums in a row that showed the promise of a great songwriter who was gaining a larger audience and critical praise with each subsequent record. Under Cold Blue Stars, 1972 and Nashville had built a foundation for a promising and what looked like a long career. Then… well, it’s difficult to say. His Brill Building observational song writing just seemed to start blending and newer material started to quickly find a home in the CD collection marked “I’ll listen later.” You know, the albums that eventually find their way into the used bins at the local record store. As a fan, I just couldn’t follow him in his newer direction and I stopped paying attention.
So, a month ago Rouse releases The Embers Of Time and it wasn’t until this week that I finally decided to give it a spin.
There it is!
Everything that made me listen before is back plus other influences popping out that I hadn’t seen before. This time, not only has his brand of folksy Americana brought in reminiscences of Carol King and James Taylor, but now you get Paul Simon and Stray Gator era Neil Young added to the mix. Simple observations of a trip to the bar or losing sleep become a musical conversation about how things are going with an old friend. It gets to the point where you pour two glasses of wine, one for yourself and another for the voice coming from your stereo. Sometimes reconnecting leaves you wondering why you ever parted ways in the first place.
The Embers of Time can be found on all the usual music formats including vinyl.