"TIME WAS" (Di-tone Records) takes the listener on a journey across the landscape of American roots music with thirteen new, modern folk songs that explore the essential stuff of our lives -- love and lust, dreams and pipedreams, fortunes made and squandered, the joy of creation, faith and loss, death, murder and salvation - with lyrics drawn or adapted from poems by such renowned late 19th and early 20th century poets as Edwin Arlington Robinson, William Butler Yeats, Sara Teasdale and Langston Hughes among many others. These are contemporary folk songs, and they do what folk song has always done—they offer intensely human portraits and stories in ways that feel strikingly fresh, yet timeless.
"TIME WAS" marks Louis' debut as a solo recording artist after three recent albums with vocalist Capathia Jenkins.
Here’s a sample of what the press has had to say about Louis' previous work:
New York Magazine Approval Matrix: “Highbrow—Brilliant.”
Huffington Post: “Music that stirs the soul.”
NY Times: “The songs are sly, playful observations...of life and love. Mr. Rosen’s music is a continually shifting patchwork of blues, folk, jazz and pop as earthy, tuneful art song.”
Bloomberg News: “...a blissful collaboration of composer and poet… Rosen [as] songwriter charts an irresistible landscape between pop music and art song. I've never been so seduced by music completely new to me yet as embraceable as any from the classic American songbook.”
itunes Review: “Ambitious … image-rich lyrics … romantic numbers are smart and sexy … protest tunes that carry real bite.”
Talkin' Broadway CD Review—Sound Advice: “...brimming over with intelligence and passion, full of musical adventurousness, ... The CD is immensely satisfying.”
Edge Magazine, New York: “…sophisticated and thrilling, a true treat for adults looking for meaningful pop music.”
Cabaret Scenes: “The songs are as intelligent as they are soulful, appealing to the brain as much as the heart.”
"TIME WAS" credits:
LOUIS (vocals; acoustic guitar, piano, additional percussion, arrangements, co-producer. See bio below.)
SCOTT LEHRER (co-producer, co-engineer): Scott won a Grammy Award for his work on Loudon Wainwright’s “High, Wide and Handsome: The Charlie Poole Project,” which was named 2010’s “Best Traditional Folk Album,” and a Tony Award for his sound design for the recent Lincoln Center Theater production of “South Pacific.” Scott and Louis are long-time collaborators. This is their fourth album together.
ROB MOOSE (violin, viola, acoustic and electric guitar, mandolin, co-arranger on selected tracks): Other credits include recording and performing with, as well as arranging for, artists such as Bon Iver, Norah Jones, Anthony and the Johnsons, The National and The Punch Brothers. Rob is also a founding member of yMusic, a new crossover ensemble. This is Louis and Rob’s third album together.
DAVE PHILLIPS (acoustic bass). David is a bassist, composer and founding member of the jazz ensemble Freedance. The group has toured in France, Switzerland, Mexico and the U.S. Their fourth album will soon be released. He is also a member of accordionist Will Holshouser’s Trio. Other associations include world music artists Kiran Ahluwalia (India) and Kinan Azmeh (Syria). In 2007, Dave received received a French American Cultural Exchange grant to perform duo concerts with his father Barre Phillips in the US and France. Dave has played bass on each of Louis’ four albums.
GARY SELIGSON (drums and percussion): Gary is an in-demand freelance percussionist/drummer in NYC. He has recorded and/or performed with a wide range of artists including Elton John, Phil Collins, Phoebe Snow, Heather Headley, LeeAnn Rimes, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and many others. This is Gary and Louis’ third album together.
CLARICE JENSEN (cello): As a soloist and chamber musician, Clarice has performed in all manner of venues in New York, from Carnegie Hall’s Stern Auditorium and Zankel Hall, The Metropolitan Museum of Art and Alice Tully Hall, to Joe’s Pub, the Brooklyn Lyceum, the Tenri Cultural Center, and the Whitney and Guggenheim Museums. This is her first time recording with Louis.
CHARLOTTE MAIER (harmony vocal): Charlotte is a successful actress with a long list of Broadway shows, films and television programs to her credit. She makes her recording debut with “Time Was,” which made Louis, her husband, very happy.
ALEX VENGUER (co-engineer): Alex is a two-time Grammy Award winner. His first Grammy came for recording and mixing Loudon Wainwright’s record “High Wide & Handsome: The Charlie Poole Project” which won the “Best Traditional Folk” album of the year. His second Grammy was for his work on the album “Wake Up” by John Legend & The Roots, which won the award for “Best R&B Album of the Year.” This is Alex and Louis’ second project together, and it definitely won’t be their last.
(All songs, music and lyric adaptations © 2012 Louis Rosen, Publisher: Lullwater Music, ASCAP; except “The Song of Wandering Aengus,” music by Thom Bishop, © 1974; Publisher: Wireless Music, 2012, BMI.
Instrumental Arrangements by Louis & Rob Moose for Tracks 1-3, 5, 7, 10, 12, 13; by Louis for Tracks 4, 6, 8, 9, 11.
Louis dedicates this recording with great affection to Marilyn Katz, George Petty, Audrey & Leonard Weiss, Richard & Tessa Rosen, Elizabeth & Walter Bachman, and Ira & Louise Wasserburg, and thanks them all many times over for their generous, indispensable and unselfish support of his work.)
Louis Rosen is a composer, lyricist, performer, author and Guggenheim Foundation Fellow. TIME WAS marks his debut as a solo recording artist after three albums with vocalist Capathia Jenkins: THE ACHE OF POSSIBILITY (2009, music and lyrics, Di-tone Records), ONE OUNCE OF TRUTH (2008, words by Nikki Giovanni, PS Classics Records), and SOUTH SIDE STORIES (2006, Rosecap/Di-tone). Song cycles performed but not yet commercially recorded include TWELVE SONGS ON POEMS BY MAYA ANGELOU (Premiere: The Public Theater’s Joe’s Pub, 2005); DREAM SUITE on poems by Langston Hughes (Premiere: Great Hall of Cooper Union, 2006); and IT IS STILL DARK: SONGS OF EXILE on poems by Celso Gonzalez-Falla (Premiere: Great Hall, Cooper Union, 2006), and RIVERSONGS on poems by Edgar Lee Masters (Premiere: The Museum of the City of New York) among others.
Highlights of Louis’ work as a performer include well over 100 concerts since 2005 in and beyond New York at venues such as The Public Theater’s Joe’s Pub, Birdland, Iridium Jazz Club, Great Hall at Cooper Union, Metropolitan Room, Harare International Festival of the Arts in Zimbabwe, Africa, Northwestern University’s Lewis Theater, SF’s Freight and Salvage, Chicago’s Steppenwolf Theater, LA’s Gardenia Club, Washington D.C.’s 6th Street and I Historic Synagogue; Schenectady’s Eighth Step at the Proctor Theater, Brooklyn Library’s Dweck Center and many more.
Louis is also the author of THE SOUTH SIDE: THE RACIAL TRANSFORMATION OF AN AMERICAN NEIGHBORHOOD, part memoir, part oral narrative (published by Ivan R. Dee, Chicago, 1998/99, cloth and paperback), which made it onto Amazon.com’s Top Ten sales list soon after publication.
In addition, Louis’ works for the theater include the recently completed folk opera, THE PEARL (2011, music only), based on the novella by John Steinbeck; A CHILD’S GARDEN, based on autobiographical writings of Robert Louis Stevenson (2000, music, lyric adaptations and co-libretto, off-Broadway); BOOK OF THE NIGHT (1991/1997, music and co-lyrics, Chicago’s Goodman Theater and off-Broadway); and musical scores for plays at theaters on Broadway, Off-Broadway and around the U.S. including Lincoln Center, The Public, Roundabout on Broadway, Circle in the Square on Broadway, the Guthrie in Minneapolis, Chicago’s Goodman Theater, the Shakespeare Theater in D.C., the Long Wharf in New Haven, the McCarter in Princeton and the Seattle Rep among many others.
Award highlights include the Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship, the NEA’s New American Works Grant; the 2nd Annual Gilman & Gonzalez Falla Music Theater Award; a Puffin Foundation Grant; the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation’s Galileo Prize & Commision; five fellowships from the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts; Annual ASCAP Awards, 1993-2012; the Anna Sosenko Trust Award; a 2000 New York Post Top-Ten off-Broadway Citation for A CHILD’S GARDEN; and Chicago's John W. Schmid Award, Best New Work for BOOK OF THE NIGHT.
For further information about Louis’ work, please visit: