British Songwriter Rupert Wates Gives Voice to American Stories
Thursday, May 24 - 7:30 p.m.- Rupert Wates. Singer-Songwriter. $10 advance/$12 door
London-born Rupert Wates has been a full-time songwriter since 1992, a journey that has carried him from his native England to Paris and finally to the USA, his base since 2006. A phenomenally talented musician, Wates writes songs that bring the lives of his characters, real and imagined, to vivid life. A jaw-droppingly fine guitar player possessed of a smooth and expressive voice, he has an ear for memorable melodies and intricately crafted lyrics that keep audiences spellbound. On Thursday, May 24 at 7:30 p.m. he returns to the White Horse Black Mountain for a night of memorable music.
Rupert Wates has composed songs for himself and others in a dazzling array of styles. His ambitious 2010 album “Joe’s Café” is based on true stories, tracing the American experience through the eyes of everyday people, while 2014’s “The Rank Outsiders Ball”, has a folk-noir vibe anchored by Wates’ jazz-inflected guitar work and a crack band. Although Rupert Wates’ sophisticated sound is very much his own, his music draws favorable comparisons to the warmth and lyricism of Gordon Lightfoot as well as Richard Thompson’s attention to guitar craft and razor-sharp wordplay but without the pitch-black corners.
The prolific Wates has eight CDs to his credit, all well-received. “Colorado Mornings: True Love Songs”, from 2016, is an album of acoustic love songs inspired by the beauty of that state. Driven by a narrative of two lovers on a Wild West outlaw-like quest for new freedom and frontiers, the sound is folky, pastoral and rootsy, tied together by Wates’ gorgeous tenor and immaculate guitar. His most recent project, “The Lights of Paris”, is recorded, mixed and awaiting mastering. A departure from his Colorado album, it features string arrangements by John Guari and guest vocals from Vivian Gale.