I'm a guitar-playing Josh Rouse fan and the Spain-based Nebraska-born singer/songwriter's 2003 disc "1972," is my favorite of his records, thanks to its breezy, melodic sound that conjures the pop music of my youth.
So, I was surprised and pleased to hear that Milwaukee's own Archer Guitars has designed the Josh Rouse 1972 Signature Guitar, Jazz Archtop Model JR1972-T guitar and is now taking pre-orders for it. The company has also designed a bass for veteran sideman Kasim Sulton.
The single-cutaway, wide hollow body guitar looks like the great jazz guitars of the ‘40s and ‘50s. It boasts twin Performance Studio Level pickups, an arched laminated flamed maple top, deluxe art deco tuners, a maple body and set neck, a rosewood fingerboard, custom shop Abalone Archer in-laid logo, JR initialed back headstock, D'Addario strings, and special 1972 truss cover, in a select tobacco sunburst finish.
It lists at $799 but pre-orders on the Archer and Rouse Web sites run $200 less. Guitars will be ready to ship in February 2009. The Web sites also host a competition to win a free guitar.
Archer guitars are designed in Milwaukee and manufactured overseas.
In other Rouse news, Josh celebrates Turner Hall's first anniversary as a music venue with a gig there on Oct. 11 and on Sept. 16, Rhino releases the two-disc retrospective, "The Best of the Rykodisc Years."
Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.
He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.
With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in an episode of TV's "Party of Five," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.
He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for OnMilwaukee.com and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.
In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area.
He can be heard weekly on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories.