We first heard from DB Rouse in August of 2020. He appeared here on these pages upon the release of his single “King Kong.” That track was a clever folky rip on then incumbent candidate Donald Trump and all of the ugliness he had been responsible for up to that date. The timing of the release was no accident, DB wanted his take on the situation to go public before the election. As all sane people know, Trump lost. I’d like to think we have Mr. Rouse to thank for that. We will not however place any blame on him for the events that followed.
You can read about that song and the endlessly entertaining backstory of DB Rouse, here. In a nutshell, he is an incredibly talented and versatile artist. A singer, songwriter, poet and a published novelist, Rouse is known affectionately by fans as the “Hobo Musician.” He has traveled the world entertaining folks from Texas ranches to ocean cruise ships. The Milwaukee, Wisconsin native strums his guitar and hums his kazoo (DB is sponsored by Kazoobie Kazoos) all across these great United States, singing a mix of traditional and original folk songs and cowboy music.
About a decade ago, DB Rouse accidentally added another entry to his musical resume. As the story goes, the singer has nine nieces and nephews. With that many little ones in the family, Christmas time was a little too much for the budget of a travelling musician to bear. So, he put his songwriting skills to use and wrote a collection of children’s music as a collective Christmas gift. “Songs From The Song Shack” was born.
The practice became a tradition. Each year the singer added a new volume to the series. At first these were just shared among family and friends. However, over the years fans caught wind so he made the records publicly available. Eventually, the Sirius XM radio channel “Kids Place Live” picked up the song “Pug With Opposable Thumbs” (of course!). Suddenly the private family tradition had become a hit record. Now, fans wait anxiously each year for more kazoo fueled tales of anthropomorphic fun.
“Songs From The Song Shack Volume 10” was released worldwide via Bandcamp on December 11, 2020. The eight song collection finds our hobo hero once again chronicling the adventures of precocious pets, wily wildlife and happily flawed humans. Most of the tracks on the record clock in at just under two minutes. They range from a musical ode to the most annoying of all ailments, (“Hiccups”) to a celebration of hanging on the porch dressed in only underwear (“Rockin’ Chair Fool”). Along the way we learn about rabbits of varying vocations, frogs and friendly mice.
Throughout the record DB Rouse wields his blue kazoo and his ever present acoustic guitar, “Meal Ticket.” There are banjo pickers (“Ribbit Rabbit”), Jimmy Buffet style Island folk songs (“Excavation Sandbox Construction Truck”) and even some Beatles-esque trippiness (“Rabbit Astronaut”). Great children’s writers know how to have fun with kids and still respect their intelligence. To that end, DB strikes exactly the right balance between silly and clever. He has some help from family and friends. Their contributions add to the overall inviting and friendly feel of the album.
Check out the video for “Rockin’ Chair Fool,” below. “Songs From The Song Shack Volume 10” is available on Bandcamp. Click the links below to connect with DB Rouse and and follow his many and varied musical adventures.