Rosa Luxe* Presents Debut Album On Thursday April 28
Phew, it looks like The FontFeed fully recovered from the Amazon EC2 cloud crash. The good thing that came out of this disaster is that it made the people in charge rethink the back-up policy for this blog, and the new system should guarantee that only one to two hours of material will be lost if disaster ever strikes again. I want to get back on track as soon as possible, but because today actually is a holiday I feel like publishing another personal post. I’ve already written about my dancing and my obsession with creating the coolest New Year’s card ever. This time I’d like to introduce you to my new band. As our official blurb explains, “Rosa Luxe* is a pan-national band playing acoustic-based, lyrical songs, gorgeously vocalised by the very lovely Megan Quill (a.k.a. The Purple Emperor).” This Thursday, April 28th, we present our self-titled debut album in Damberd, the famous music bar in our home town Gent.
Rosa Luxe* – short for Rosa Luxemburg in case you were wondering – evolved out of the acoustic duo Jury & Quill. Nick Jury is a British songwriter/guitarist who moved to Belgium via Amsterdam twenty-odd years ago. Nick and I first met when our bands – respectively the Secret Reggae Band and French & Welding – were competing for a spot playing the streets during the Ghent Festival. Nick likes to remind me that the first words I said to him were: “Why don’t you f*** off?” However we soon became very good friends when Nick joined French & Welding together with the amazing American vocalist Cindy Barg, the singer of the Secret Reggae Band with whom he also formed the acoustic duo Merle & Mabel. Nick started playing with The Suspects around that same time, and later formed Rumble Fish, his own rock band with Cindy Barg.
After Nick left French & Welding we both went our separate ways. Six years after first meeting we teamed up a second time, as he invited me to join the band he started with the talented songwriter/guitarist Emmanuel Tzwern, a Manchester native living in Antwerp. Nick moved to France a couple of years later, but I am still drummer with, and founding member of pop/rock band Troubleman. That is another story which I’ll tell you more about this Fall.
Megan Quill, the other half of Jury & Quill, was born in Shaker Heights, Ohio and relocated to Belgium at the turn of the millennium. Her story reads a bit like a fairy tale. This seamstress specialising in historically correct re-enactment wear was discovered by Gabor Vörös when she was sewing scenery for a CirQ production. Upon hearing her singing along to the radio the Hungarian Vörös – front man of jazzy-freaky-funky prog-rock formation Humble Grumble and guitarist with popular folk group Follia! – told her with blinding confidence she was to be his new singer for Humble Grumble. Her enchanting voice and her knack for creating superb counter-melodies quickly made her a sought-after (backing) vocalist, and she sang for numerous bands, often with Cindy Barg. It is through her that one Christmas Megan met Nick Jury who had returned from France. Nick was searching for an equally fabulous vocalist to replace Cindy Barg, and they started working together as an acoustic duo in 2004. It always was their intention to become a full-fledged band over time.
As Jury & Quill were getting ready to record their debut album a year ago Nick asked me to play the drums and percussion on a couple of songs. He was so enthusiastic about the results that he ended up having me play on most of the tracks, and subsequently invited me to join the rechristened Rosa Luxe* permanently. The latest addition to the band is Gabor Vörös on bass, replacing multi-instrumentalist Gert Torck who recorded our debut album.
Our self-titled debut album is a collection of 11 songs built around Nick Jury’s mesmerising finger-picking guitar play and lilting melodies. His lyrical compositions are deeply rooted in American folk and rootsy rock. More than merely an excellent songsmith, Nick is also one damn fine lyricist. One song he’ll tell a tragic, haunting love story, the next he’ll be spinning a socially and politically conscious yarn. Most importantly he always manages to strike the right balance, never becoming preachy nor pedantic. Those lyrics are beautifully interpreted by Megan Quill and embellished with her trademark backing vocals.
The album cover was of course designed by yours truly. Although my clients have always been pleased with my work I personally consider myself an average graphic designer. Were this album cover to pop up in an episode of My Type of Music I’d rate it as an appropriate straightforward solution, squarely focusing on the band – not a bad move for a debut album. The band name is set in the Fat weight of Typejockeys’ wonderful award-winning didone Ingeborg, using the unicase Stylistic Set. This is however a temporary solution. We have commissioned an award-winning and internationally acclaimed type designer to create our band logo, and this will be documented in a future post on The FontFeed. The secondary typeface throughout the artwork is Silvio Napoleone’s delectable Hydra (Text).
To give you taste of what to expect of the album we have made three songs available online, together with the lyrics. If you like what you hear we invite you to become a fan on Reverbnation, and like the Rosa Luxe* Facebook band page. This will keep you informed about future shows as well as the upcoming digital release of our debut album after the physical release this Thursday, April 28th. You can also follow us on Twitter.
Last but not least I would like to invite you all to our home town Gent, one of Lonely Planet’s top 10 cities for 2011, to attend our debut album release in three days. I buy any FontFeed reader who utters the magic words “The Emperor wears purple” a drink. ; )
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