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Josh Rouse w/ AM @ Turner Hall Ballroom

May 28, 2010

Jun. 2, 2010
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Singer Josh Rouse, with one foot planted in Spanish music and the other somewhere between the pop stylings of Paul Simon and the sensibilities of Nashville and the American heartland, returned to the Turner Hall Ballroom with his globe-spanning band Friday to offer an intimate and engaging night of music.

Rouse’s wide-ranging sound isn’t surprising considering the many places he’s lived. He moved around the Midwest and the United States before settling in Valencia, Spain.

Rouse was the first headliner to play the Turner Hall Ballroom three years ago, and seemed pleased to be back, smiling and having a blast onstage as he jumped around his multidimensional catalog.

He opened the night with a taste of his current musical destination, with a sweet, beautiful version of “Duerme,” one of the songs sung in Spanish from the singer’s latest album, El Turista. Even for those who couldn’t understand the lyrics, the music and romantic way he sung the lyrics quickly cast a sense of intimacy. A number of the songs from the set came from that album, including the popular “I Will Live on Islands” and “Lemon Tree,” but the night featured a diverse sampling of his catalog with songs like “Flight Attendant,” “Winter in the Hamptons” and the aptly named “Summertime.”

For most of the night the crowd sat around candlelit tables in the comfort of their chairs, admiring Rouse’s sweeping melodies, until the singer invited them to come closer to the stage to dance. Many in the crowd took him up on the opportunity, passionately swaying their hips and arms in tune to the music.

Rouse gave a moving encore, providing a solo version of “Carolina” and performing his popular song “1972” with a pianist. Then his full band brought the party full force with “In the Nighttime,” joined by the drummer for openers AM on tambourine.

Touring behind their recent Future Sons & Daughters, AM provided sublimely groovy and catchy ’70s-like melodic pop/soft rock that also hinted at Paul Simon.

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