FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 20, 2010
Josh Rouse’s Sun-Kissed New Album ‘El Turista’ (Yep Roc/March 9) Inspired by Legendary Cuban Cabaret Star
On Josh Rouse’s new Mediterranean idyll of an album, ‘El Turista’ (Yep Roc, March 9), he sings a Cuban lullaby called “Duerme,” an invitation to dream. The song, a bossa nova, is emblematic of the sun-kissed, romantic nature of the album, which blends Spanish, Cuban and Brazilian songs with Rouse originals sung in English and Spanish.
Rouse, a Nebraska native, lives in Valencia, Spain with his wife, Paz Suay and their child. Describing the album’s genesis, Rouse says, “I was just searching, looking for a new direction. A couple of years ago, my wife put this Bola de Nieve record on and I said, ‘Wow, what is that?’ Hearing that record was a breakthrough for me.'”
Both “Duerme” and another track, “Mesie Julian,” are versions of songs made famous by the legendary Cuban singer/pianist Bola de Nieve, who, says Rouse, inspired the entire project. He sings them in a laid-back style reminiscent of bossa nova master Joao Gilberto.
Bola de Nieve was the stage name of Ignacio Jacinto Villa, a cabaret star of Havana’s Golden Age, whose nickname translates, ironically, as “Snowball.” Often called “the Louis Armstrong of Cuba,” he had an urbane style, an international repertoire that included songs in French and English, and a legion of famous fans including Edith Piaf and Pablo Neruda.
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