JP DEN TEX . . . . . biography. . . . . . . . . . ________________________________________________
JP DEN TEX (originally from Amsterdam, Holland) is a Dutch singer, performer and producer, bridging the gap between Americana and traditional European genres such as French chanson. In the past some critics have dubbed his music “Beatnik Americana”, referring to JP’s adventurous, eclectic brand of Americana. Anyway, Den Tex has been very successful in putting his cosmopolitan message across lately, both at home and abroad. Recently he and his band played a crowded Paradiso Amsterdam, at the release party of their latest CD “American Tune”.
JP's first notable musical adventure was in the mid 70’s as a member of Tortilla, a legendary Dutch band whose music would now be described as alt.country. Later, in the 80’s, Den Tex recorded some critically acclaimed solo albums. At the beginning of the 90’s JP interrupted his solo activities to participate in the rebellious retro ensemble 'Les Gueux' (CD ‘After Hours’ – 1992). A strong belief in the values of continental musical traditions lay at the heart of that group's formation. In 1998 he went solo again - and back to his own musical origins, with the very introspective, rootsy 'Emotional Nomads' album. "Painstakingly honest, that’s how I'd like to be" JP wrote in the CD booklet.
On the serial albums 'Bad French' (2007) and 'American Tune' (2009) JP's lust for travel brings the listener to the America's. A European non-fiction writer - who's been temporarily residing in NYC to assemble material for a new book - sets out on a low-budget, adventurous fact-finding trip from New York City to San Francisco, in a rented red Toyota. Somewhere along the dented road he’ll pick up disheveled Russian Elena, a former escort girl from Brighton Beach (NYC), who dreams of starting a new life in California. In the weeks that follow they jointly discover the customs, landscapes (and music!) of the various states they're passing through, on their way out west. All the while mixed up in a tender, yet unstable love affair destined to go awry.
Especially these last 2 albums have been warmly received by press and pundits all over the world. For instance, just recently Maverick (UK) wrote:
‘They say ‘Beatnik Americana’—I say ‘Top quality adult pop music’
“JP Den Tex is Dutch; sounds British and sings about America. Confused? You won’t be after you listen to AMERICAN TUNE; JP’s 16th long playing record. He recorded his first album, TORTILLA in 1971 and has been recording when the mood takes him ever since. JP has had a fascination with all things Americana since his teenage years and AMERICAN TUNE is full of reminisces of being stranded in Tucson, Arizona or reaching Phoenix on a Greyhound Bus and then roaming the streets of San Francisco. There is a genuine warmth throughout AMERICAN TUNE and is nicely finished with a ska-shboom shuffle on Vagabond Heart and the toe tapping finale We’ll Sweep Out The Ashes (In the Morning) which is a swinging duet with Vera Van Der Poel and will stay with me for a long long time. It’s very difficult to find fault with AMERICAN TUNE and I’m genuinely glad to have discovered such a rare talent as JP Den Tex.”
Yvonne Ebbers (el.guitar, slide guitar, mandolin); Leon Klaasse (drums): Bart De Ruiter (bass guitar); Bart Van Poppel (B3 Hammond)
JP does also acoustic theatre shows on a regular basis, only accompnied by guitarist Yvonne Ebbers. JP's storytelling in-between songs has become quite an asset over recent years.
Clever Fool (1982)
A Quiet Street In Paris (1986)
Les Gueux (1993)
Emotional Nomads (1999)
Hotel Yankee Tango (2001)
La Jeune Fille Au Chewing Gum (2004)
Bad French (2007)
American Tune (2009)
Songs The Dreamer, When I'm Down, Love So Helpless, Vagabond Heart, For You, Chatting with Rachmaninoff and We'll Sweep Out The Ashes are currently playing on Jango Radio...
Review JP DEN TEX "American Tune' September 16, 2010
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JP Den Tex - American Tune 2009, Commes Les Chansons JP Den Tex is Dutch born and sings like a...
JP Den Tex - American Tune
2009, Commes Les Chansons
JP Den Tex is Dutch born and sings like an Englishman, but some part of his heart has always been reserved for America. Den Tex took his own American odyssey and documented it in song on American Tune. Steeped in the deep richness of Americana, Den Tex sings and writes in the vein of Elvis Costello and Nick Lowe but finds a voice that’s uniquely his own.
American Tune opens with "The Dreamer", a solid Americana composition informed by blues, country and rock influences. Den Tex' guitar style is a mix of Knopfler's quiet intricacy and Clapton's innate mellowness. The song has a solid melody that's catchy but not ostentatious; a great opener. "Love So Helpless" is about the futility we feel at times when tragedy befalls those we love and occasionally the unseen consequences. "When I'm Down" is danceable and catchy with a chorus you'll be humming for days; truly one of the highlights of the album. "Mon Desir Noir" is a continuation of the story begun in "Love So Helpless", exploring how the shock and shame of tragedy can drive people who otherwise love each other apart. "Down And Out In Phoenix" examines the aftermath of such a relationship, where broken dreams abound and the future looks as barren as the desert that surrounds the narrator.
A new chapter opens in American Tune with "Un Amour Fou A San Francisco", a french/English take on new beginnings, new cities and new love. "Bowbow" turns out to be one of the most enjoyable turns on the album; very entertaining with a dirty blues feel. "Bowbow" is extremely catchy even if the meaning is at times opaque. Den Tex shows deep insight into the creation process with "True Art Is Lonely", portraying the striving for perfection as a solitary pursuit. "Vagabond Heart" is an acoustic, early-rock arrangement complete with doo-wop style backing vocals. Catchy and fun, it’s an ode to all of those who don't quite fit in. Answers come on "Hero" with the realization that victory often comes in the form of facing up to our own baggage, and the rewards seem to come quickly once we face ourselves. Den Tex closes with a brilliant cover of "We'll Sweep Out The Ashes", a Joyce Allsup-penned tune recorded by Gram Parsons and Emmylou Harris among others. Den Tex duets with Vera van den Poel providing a unique aperture into the camaraderie of loneliness and the moments when its boundaries are shared.
JP Den Tex spins a tale of love, loss, grief and renewal on American Tune. The fall from grace is hard, but rebirth the more difficult task in a quietly competent collection of songs that won't wash over you but quietly insinuate themselves into your mind. Den Tex is a deft story-teller, changing pace and perspective enough to keep the story vibrant. In an age where concept albums have lost their luster, Den Tex offers a shining example of what's right with the form.
Rating: 3.5 Stars (Out of 5)
Learn more about JP Den Tex at http://www.jp-den-tex.com/ or www.myspace.com/jpdentex. American Tune is available from Amazon.com as both a CD and Download. The album is also available through iTunes.
Posted by Wildy at 6:48 AM Labels: Elvis Costello, Eric Clapton, Gram Parsons, Joyce Allsup, JP Den Tex, Mark Knopfler, Nick Lowe, Vera van den Poel
Various Reviews JP Den Tex
Please go to Review URL
Top Quality Adult Pop Music
[+ Show ]
Review in Maverick Magazine (UK) - april issue 2010 American Tune Comme Les Chansons 217209 T...Review in Maverick Magazine (UK) - april issue 2010
Comme Les Chansons 217209
They say ‘Beatnik Americana’—I say ‘Top quality adult pop music’
JP Den Tex is Dutch; sounds British and sings about America. Confused? You won’t be after you listen to AMERICAN TUNE; JP’s 16th long playing record. He recorded his first album, TORTILLA in 1971 and has been recording when the mood takes him ever since. JP has had a fascination with all things Americana since his teenage years and AMERICAN TUNE is full of reminisces of being stranded in Tucson, Arizona or reaching Phoenix on a Greyhound Bus and then roaming the streets of San Francisco. There is a very ‘English feel’ to the overall sound of the album; by which I mean Nick Lowe and Elvis Costello territory.
Love so Helpless and Hero are both hopeless love songs that must have been written at 3am with only a tabby cat and a cold cup of coffee for company. The Dreamer and Bowbow are real down-home Americana and stay with you like the after taste of a quality Bourbon. JP goes all Continental on us with Mon Desir Noir and Un Amour Fou a San Francisco but even these two songs are littered with Franglais like Geraint Watkins occasionally does on his albums.
There is a genuine warmth throughout AMERICAN TUNE and is nicely finished with a ska-shboom shuffle on Vagabond Heart and the toe tapping finale We’ll Sweep Out The Ashes (In the Morning) which is a swinging duet with Vera Van den Poel and will stay with me for a long long time. It’s very difficult to find fault with AMERICAN TUNE and I’m genuinely glad to have discovered such a rare talent as JP Den Tex. AH
Sets are usually quite long, 1.30 hrs being the average show. Two sets, or just one (especially in theatres)
There are no upcoming dates at this time.