the lights of paris
released in november 2017
Rupert Wates' ninth solo album takes an unflinching look at the dangers, disillusionments and cruelties of today's world, in which the lights of Paris offer a symbol of love, beauty and hope. On this disc, Wates' signature sound is reduced to the essentials of his voice and distinctive fingerstyle guitar, with color added by virtuoso musicians Adrianna Mateo (violin) and Brian Sanders (cello) in string arrangements by Grammy-nominated John Guari. To capture the warmth and spontaneity of a live performance, the album was recorded live in the studio in just two days by master engineer Kevin Kelly. Wates adopts the voice of the timeless balladeer, to take us song by song on a journey through the shadows that threaten to engulf us, toward the faint but still flickering lights.
REVIEWS of 'THE LIGHTS OF PARIS':
"What a voice!" 'Anyone who does not yet know the English-born and now American based artist with the velvety baritone has a real discovery in front of him...The songs...interweave thoughtfully melancholic lyrics artfully with catchy melodies' (Ulric Joosten, FOLKER Magazine, Germany https://www.folker.de/rezis/rezensionen.php?ausgabe=201803®ion=in)
"A very high level" 'Fans of beautiful acoustic guitar based...music should definitely check this out, as it is from a very high level, with Rupert providing excellent calm relaxing vocal work' (8 out of 10) (Strutterzine, Netherlands http://strutter.mysite.com/HOTNEWREVIEWS2018August.html)
4 Stars 'Poetic reflections on the times...steeped in the history of hope and struggle. Richly romantic tenderness in an age when 'all we loved has gone to hell'. The lights of Paris are...a symbolic beacon that never goes out' (Andrew Darlington, R2 Rock and Reel Review www.rock-n-reel.co.uk)
"Unsurpassed beauty"(*****5 Stars) '...Not only an important comment on the times in which we live, it is done with unsurpassed beauty' (Lakeside Music, Manhattan KS https://store.cdbaby.com/cd/rupertwates7)
"Fabulous poetry"(*****5 stars) '...Fabulous Poetry as Music Bringing Listener to Sublime' (Customer review, CD Baby https://store.cdbaby.com/cd/rupertwates7)
"Beautifully arranged folk" 'Fans of beautifully arranged folk will not balk at 'The Lights Of Paris' (Theo Volk, Music That Needs Attention https://musicthatneedsattention.blogspot.com/2017/12/rupert-wates-lights-of-paris.html)
"A folk pearl"(**** 4 stars) '...Sparkling acoustic fingerpicking and warm expressive vocals...With perfectly balanced stories, Rupert Wates can effortlessly hold the attention...A folk pearl that...transcends the genre' (Cis Van Looy, http://www.writteninmusic.com/roots/rupert-wates-the-lights-of-paris/
"All equally beautiful" 'My favorite song is 'My Face To The Morning' but...they are all equally beautiful' (Rootsville, http://www.rootsville.eu/2018 album reports/reports/rupert wates.html)
"These lights shine bright" (Mike Davies, FATEA http://www.fatea-records.co.uk/magazine/reviews/RupertWates/
"Catches you by the ankles...a completely unique style" (****4 stars) 'Wates' powerful acoustic guitar play catches you by the ankles, so that you do not lose attention for a moment...Wates maintains a completely unique style, which he knows how to use in new ways from album to album...He deserves more attention' (John Gjaltema, Alt Country NL http://www.altcountry.nl/blog/2018/01/rupert-wates-2/)
"Profound" 'Musically quite sober, the lyrics stimulate the listener to profound reflection...a very enjoyable work of art' (Valsam, Rootstime www.rootstime.be/CD%20REVIEUW/2018/JAN1/CD120.html)
"A disc of considerable expressive power" 'Wates has achieved a style that is genuinely authentic and rich in ideas...The compositional aspect is excellent, poetically relevant and with heartfelt passion and great soul. 'The Lights Of Paris' declares, by its title, a romanticism that is never cloying or sugar, and denotes instead a profound humanity...A disc of considerable expressive power' (Remo Ricaldone, The Long Journey http://www.bcmai.it/tlj/recensione.asp?IDDisco=3186&IDRecensione=3234)
"Effortless and impressive" 'Like all good Folk releases should...a reflection of the ways in which we shape our world...A style that sounds effortless and impressive, while his clear vocal tone never clutters the arrangements' (Paul McGee, Lonesome Highway http://lonesomehighway.com/
"Classic folk" '...The state of the heart as caught in a crossfire. The recording is spare...which allows moments of great beauty...The thing about this record is its sincerity. That fact sets the piece...apart. Wates is unafraid to sing what he really means' (Steve Klingaman, Minor 7th www.minor7th.com)
"Its charm never weakens" 'I am devilishly seduced by Wates' 9th album...Both fragile and immediate, its charm never weakens for an instant' (Sam Pierre, Le Cri Du Coyote)
"Fine Magic" (7.5 Stars out of 10) 'In brief songs he draws modern moral pictures...With careful listening the pieces release their fine magic. He...succeeds in capturing the spirit of the folk revival' (Walter Sehrer, Eclipsed-Rock, Germany www.eclipsed.de)
"A fabulous songwriter and poet" 'The 9th album from the immensely talented folk balladeer...The sparseness of the instrumentation directs the attention to the expressive voice of the singer/songwriter...Wates is...a fabulous songwriter and poet' (Max W Achatz, Country Juke Box Germany http://www.countryjukebox.de/pages/flash.htm)
Finalist, Kerrville New Folk Song Contest 2018 for 'The Day The Great Ship Went Down' and 'A Song Of Your Own'
'Outstanding Songwriting Achievement' for 'The Day The Great Ship Went Down', Great American Song Contest 2017 (www.greatamericansong.com/winners.php)
'Finalist' for 'Oh The Times', Great American Song Contest 2017 (www.greatamericansong.com/winners.php)
CD of The Week, 12 30 2017, Midnight Special Chicago 98.7WFMT www.midnightspecial.org/
released in march 2016
The eighth CD from singer-songwriter Rupert Wates is an album of acoustic love songs inspired by the beauty of Colorado. It depicts the journey of two lovers, as they travel like Wild West outlaws in search of new frontiers and freedoms. In keeping with the album's setting, its sound is pastoral, rootsy, folk-inflected. At the forefront is Wates' signature fluid fingerstyle guitar, and his distinctive vocals, at once gentle and intense. Backing him is the outstanding rhythm section that has appeared on his earlier CDs: Bartosz Hadala on keyboards, Trifon Dimitrov on bass, and Chris Howard on hand drums. Playing together with the interactive unity of old friends, these four musicians recorded all 12 songs live in the studio, with no overdubs, in just three days. Their interplay was masterfully captured by engineer Jeff Pelletier. The result is an album whose every element is organic from the roots up: a fitting tribute to the place and the people that inspired it. (Leo Green, BiteMusic Limited)
REVIEWS of COLORADO MORNINGS
'Wates has a beautiful tenor and sings true love songs...The music is perfectly achieved' Adolf Goriup, Folkworld http://www.folkworld.eu/61/e/cds3.html#wate
"This is quality"
'It is difficult to decide how to characterize Wates – his lyrical texts, his immaculate music (his control of the fingerpicking style is admirably perfect) or his throaty voice...With soft chimes, Wates takes his listeners into the wild beauty of his temporary adopted homeland Colorado, and with the fluent play of his fingers he tells stories, like his knowing description of seldom simple human love in the song “Lady Grey”. Here he sings about the memories of an ageing woman, her former beauty, lust for life and life-lies. These are lyrics that underscore how much he fine-tunes his texts. This is nothing muddied here, this is quality.' (Von Jurgen Zimmer, Hannoversche Allgemeine Zeitung http://www.kulturtresen.de/files/161012_LKNZ_VP_artikel_nachbericht_zum_konzert_rupert_wates.pdf) (Transl. by Andrea Palusch)
"A songwriting tour de force"
'(Wates)' brilliantly observed compositions have already won him over 30 songwriting awards. 'Colorado Mornings'...goes a long way to explaining that degree of success. Taking in pop, jazz, country and folk, it's a songwriting tour de force' (R2 Rock N Reel, UK www.rock-n-reel.co.uk)
"Melodic and refined style"
'Don't expect harsh country and western flavors, because Wates' ballads have a more melodic and refined style in which his British folk roots are clearly present, blending pop, jazz, even vaudeville, between the elegant touch of pianist Bartosz Hadala, a longtime collaborator, and Wates' signature fingerpicking' (Roots Highway, Italy www.rootshighway.it/Shortcuts/short.htm)
"A fine package of songs here"
(David Hintz, Folk World Germany www.folkworld.de/60/e/cds6.html)
"Romantic easy listening jazz with a western touch" (3 stars)
(John Gjaltema, AltCountry Forum NL)
"A unique listening experience"
'...In the folk music genre quality of this kind does not come along too often...Besides a clear kinship with Martin Simpson, Steve Tiltson and Bert Jansch, this emigrant living in the US...adds jazz, cabaret and vaudeville to his palette...Twelve love songs which will give folk fans a lot of pleasure' (Koos Gijsman, Heaven Magazine Holland www.popmagazineheaven.nl) (Rating 7.5)
"A beautiful album to dream" (3.5 Stars)
(Lambert Smits, Keys And Chords magazine www.keysandchords.com)
"Intense beauty (3.5 stars)"
'...Intense beauty, rarely encountered nowadays...Old fashioned class' (Cis Van Looy, 3 and a half star review, www.writteninmusic.com June 2016)
"A terrific songwriter"
'...In order to tug at the heartstrings, (you) need a refreshing take, a deft use of metaphors, and more...Rupert Wates does all that. He's a terrific songwriter - there's a reason why he's won over 30 awards - and you'll enjoy his warm vocals reminiscent of early Gordon Lightfoot, sparkling acoustic guitar work, and a wonderful band that showcases this collection of original love songs...Well-done album' (Jamie Anderson, Minor 7th www.minor7th.com/shorttakes6_16.html)
“An eclectic masterpiece...sublime folk hymns”
‘…Rupert takes his listeners on a delightful cruise over sweeping tones with his vocals. Flawless guitar picking and a noble English tenor weave into jazzy chords. Vocalist Stacey Lorin sings on the Irish shanty The Green And Goodly Valley, as Bartosz Hadala mirrors the cool jazz style on piano. Trifon Dimitrov’s stand-up bass playing helps shape the tone, making this album an eclectic masterpiece. Fluent percussion from Chris Howard blends arrangements together, creating a full aural experience.
…This work depicts a timeless tale of two lovers embarking on a life-changing journey…Pastoral landscapes of sepia and forest green manifest into one’s imagination while 12 solidly constructed tunes tap dance through the ear.
…Rupert Wates is a consummate professional who graces this CD with his satisfying folk style. A striking composition from start to finish, Colorado Mornings True Love Songs boasts an array of pleasing acoustic singsongs. I highly recommend this collection for anyone who loves a great compilation of musings and appreciates the subtlety of sublime folk hymns. Not all who have wandered are still considered lost, and we’re lucky to have been found by Rupert Wates’ (Brian Rill, The Real Deal Music Review, Colorado Central Magazine April 2016) Read Full review: http://cozine.com/2016-march/cd-review-rupert-wates-colorado-mornings-true-love-songs/
"Grapes of Wrath mixed with Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid by way of Tombstone. Yep, this is dyed-in-the-wool folk music…with a twist of lemon.
The darkness of Joe’s Café (2010) has gone by the boards here...Replaced by the stern-visaged Wates packing heat in Doc Holliday raiment…flanked by mistress / wife / schoolmarm / society-matron paramour ever at his John Ford side. Ghost town and forest provide the backdrop, not NYC glitter, and modernity raises nary a manicured hair in the oeuvre save for that interestingly lo-toned Sinatra-esque quality in “If Ever My Love”. Wates’ guitar work is alternatingly accommodative, laid back, and then self-interlocking and propulsive, several times hypnotic in a way John Martyn might have employed.
Dropping into a mode that has in the past included discernable Nick Drake, Gordon Lightfoot, Kenny Rankin, and other elements, one can now add Ian Tyson, Livingston Taylor, even a rougher John Denver (“Lady Grey” and other cuts dip into the late Denver’s mountain airs) and others. The band this time, more than ever, is mindful of those great early ensembles Bruce Cockburn trotted out in his LPs, sonorous and complex, alternatingly rustic-energetic and backporch pensive. Bass player Trifon Dimitrov particularly calls to memory Cockburn’s stalwart four-stringer Dennis Pendrith, and the beautifully delicate piano strains of Bartosz Hadala in cuts such as “Fear of Flying” underscore Wates’ repeating patterns to elicit falling rain drops, glinting sun rays, and fresh beezes. True Love Songs is by far Wate’s rootsiest effort to date." (Mark S Tucker, Veritas Vampiras # 1)
Four Stars ****
"The songs are...poetic, often about the beauty of Colorado and they reminded me of Jimmy Webb...and early Gordon Lightfoot. I enjoyed both (Wates') voice and the songs" (Spenser Leigh, four star review, Country Music People Magazine June 2016)