DREW ROUSE EPK: Drew Rouse is a fiercely independent writer and multi-instramentalist musician (singer, guitarist, bassist, pianist, harmonica player, drummer and percussionist) who has toured extensively throughout North America and Europe. He has captivated audiences from coast to coast and across the oceans with his songs of environmental and social justice, plus other fare. Drew has a unique propensity and ability for meshing smooth rhythms and legendary guitar chops with driving and hypnotic melodies and beats around deeply relevant issues. Drew crafts his songs, not to perpetuate thoughtless escapism, but rather to fortify thoughtful, independent thinking with lyrics that prompt us to maintain and assert our freedoms while urging us to protect our future generations. Never preachy, the result is often described as “Conscious Soul Music”. Soulful yes, but Drew effortlessly meanders through many different styles and multiple genres within each set. His sound is melodic and powerful with a heightened sensibility that keeps your mind and body moving. Drew’s extensive and constant touring, energetic live performances, paired with his solid charismatic presence have earned him a very diverse and loyal following. As he always says “All my songs are love songs. Some are of the simple and usual, boy meets girl variety, but most are of a more complex nature, love of life, freedom, forests, mountains, oceans, justice, inner and outer reflective manifestations of love, sometimes sweet and other times tough, but all are love songs and none are the lesser”.
Drew has been offered numerous recording and publishing contracts over the years but has always turned them down for deeply principled and ethical reasons. He understood long ago that in signing such “deals” his music would most likely be used to sell unconscious products, thus helping perpetuate a toxic paradigm. Drew has always acted in part as a “Green publisher” and is always interested in licensing his music to truly green products and services, independent films, documentaries, environmental and social justice issues, independent radio, public sponsored media and other such noble causes. As he says when people thank him for the free use of his music “I’m and energetic philanthropist, its my pleasure!” The times have caught up with Drew’s vision, the lean, clean, green, renewable, energy conservation paradigm is upon us and Drew has been busy for years writing the soundtrack.
Drew choses to remain completely independent and continues to “occupy” stages and is busy writting songs that seem to reminisce of a beautiful future, while others songs like “Chicken Hawks” with it’s scathing and correct assertions on war, scold the powers that shouldn’t be. Other songs like “Mountain” and “FatWood” warn us about clear cutting, deforestation and other forms of environmental destruction or degradation. He has numerous other such songs, that cover a wide variety of pressing issues, everything from genetic pollution to global warming. Drew takes great pleasure in butchering the sacred cows of our belief systems and disassembling the fictions of our, presently, highly controlled societies. He explains: “I write songs to expose as well as to reveal. I ask this question over and over. Why should we live a controlled, generic, consumeristic, wasteful existence? When we can live a self-controlled, authentic, creative, low-impact experience. That’s living, the other is just as I mentioned, an existence.”
Drew began writing poetry at age 7, he would often roam the forest on his families property writing in his small notebook he titled “My Thinking Spot”. He then started playing guitar and composing professionally at age 12. Drew says “My youth was blessed with the ability to enter into a deep and profound place of contemplation and reflection at a very young age. This blessing allowed me, once older, to pick the most effective direction to apply my life force. I feel truly blessed and spared in so many ways.” Drew has numerous poems and short stories, over a 150 original songs and has released six independent albums, so far: Rage, Flowers, Live From Bearsville studios, In My Movie, The Flesh and The Spirit… and Singing To The Choir. Drew now releases mostly singles, which can be downloaded, right here, off his website.
Drew performs solo or with many different arrangements of musicians and instrumentation. Thus, “The Gathering” is a blend of those musicians, other artists and supporters who come together at Drew’s performances to celebrate live, original music. This provides for an exciting and ever evolving live show.
Drew follows in a long tradition of great Canadian songwriters and storytellers. Drew is the real deal a troubadour with a gypsy’s soul. He is on perpetual tour, so keep an eye out for his upcoming performances and his latest releases.
If you try to ask Drew about himself you will quickly realize that he starts to answer, but then moves rapidly onto an environmental, social justice or government policy conversation. An interviewer recently called him on it and he replied: “Please, I began many years ago to exclude myself from this process. To limit, then evict and finally delete all that my ego had injected. Long ago I made the message, not the man, paramount. Truthfully, I have forgotten the formulaic who I am, where I’m from and how I want others to see me, etc. I mean, I can tell you trite stories of my past, childhood, etc, but they seem more dream like now, then real. I have none of the usual musician addictions. No rock star sex, drugs and booze war stories, no tale of woe. I have no excuses and nothing to blame. To the contrary, I feel spared, informed and a deep responsibility to share with others what a life of resonance with the natural world has taught me. I have an urgency to express these lesson through writing, music, film, conversation and the teaching and practicing of yoga. I will never forget what I stand for, those I love and those who love me, but it has been a blessing emptying myself and, if only for a moment, becoming just a conduit for something greater to pass through. Truly, my personal story is simple and rather boring. Please lets not waste time on personalities, we must focus on policies. We must dedicate our interaction here to addressing the serious issues that are negatively effecting our shared environment and try to ethically answer the numerous questions that are facing us. Its up to us, at this time, to usher in a new paradigm. Our children, their children, are depending on us” And as always, Drew concluded the interview with “Love and Respect to you and yours…”
Drew is also a energetic philanthropist, philosopher and strategist for environmental social justice issues and works on numerous progressive projects.