Josh Rouse Gets Bilingual On El Turista

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On February 16, singer/songwriter Josh Rouse will release El Turista, an album that finds him singing originals and covers in English and Spanish. The record draws on music from Cuba, Brazil, Spain, Venezuela, and more, and will be released on Rouse’s own Bedroom Classics label via Nettwerk.

According to a press release: “Rouse mingles original tunes about life in Spain – and away from it – with a Civil War-era traditional American song (‘Cotton Eye Joe’), that he heard Nina Simone sing, and two songs popularized by Bola de Nieve, considered ‘the Louis Armstrong of Cuba.'”

“I know it’s kind of funny, this Midwestern guy doing Brazilian songs in Spanish,” says Rouse, who was born and raised in Paxton, Nebraska. He describes one track, the instrumental “Bienvenido,” as “originally sound[ing] like Nick Drake, but turned into Vince-Guaraldi-on-the-Mediterranean.”

El Turista is the followup to 2007’s critically acclaimed Country Mouse, City Mouse. A Josh Rouse anthology, The Best of the Rykodisc Years, was released in 2008.

Rouse will launch a U.S. tour in support of El Turista, with dates to be announced soon. Fans can get a sneak peak of the album by downloading the digital-only EP Valenca, which is out now. The new EP features the title track (which will also appear on the album), two out-takes from the album sessions (“Magdalena” and “Easy Street”) and an instrumental “Fiesta Morena” (pulled from a recent update on his Bedroom Classics Closet Archives site).

El Turista Track List:

1. Bienvenido
2. Duerme
3. Lemon Tree
4. Sweet Elaine
5. Mesie Julian
6. I Will Live On Islands
7. Valencia
8. Cotton Eye Joe
9. Las Voces
10. Don’t Act Tough