JP DEN TEX

JP DEN TEX

 Amsterdam, North Holland, NLD
BandAmericanaPop

JP DEN TEX (from Amsterdam, Holland) is, above all, a modern-day troubadour and storyteller, bridging the gap between Americana and traditional European genres such as French chanson. Some critics have dubbed his music “Beatnik Americana” referring to JP’s adventurous, eclectic brand of Americana.

Biography

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.”

Lyrics

The Dreamer

Written By: JP Den Tex

The Dreamer - music: JP Den Tex/Yvonne Ebbers, words: JP Den Tex

They call me the dreamer
Cause I dream both night and day
They call me the dreamer
Cause I dream both night and day
Not a penny in my pocket but
G… don't take my dream away

They call me the loner
For I don't mind sleeping alone
I own a hammock between the stars
And I like traveling on my own
The night sky holds my vision and
Someday it'll be my home

They call me the dreamer…
They call me the dreamer…
They call me the dreamer…
G… don't take my dream away
Don’t take it away, Mama

Like a long-range rocket
I just love the far-away
Distance pulling like a magnet
Makes me dream both night and day
I'm still working out a timeline
G… don't lead my dream astray

They call me the dreamer…
They call me the dreamer…
They call me the dreamer…
G… don't take my dream away
Don’t take it away, Mama

Don’t take it away, Mama
Don’t take it away, Mama

When I'm Down

Written By: Jp Den Tex

When I'm Down - words & music: JP Den Tex

Love is a symphony
My thorny flower
My sweetest pain
Born in my darkest hour
My shady friend
And my forgotten soul
This inner vision
That I can't control

Yet only love can make me feel all right
Mend my dreams and make me whole inside
Only love can break my foolish pride
A rose that opens
In the night

And when I'm down, down
Oh when I'm down….

Love is real drama
(Yes, my queen of spades!)
The loser hurts
(The winner contemplates)
Love is this nightmare
That will prove you're wrong…
The sweetest poison
In my gypsy song

For only love can make me feel all right
Mend my dreams and make me whole inside
Only love can break my foolish pride
A rose that opens
In the night

And when I'm down, down
Oh when I'm down….

A Little Song

Written By: JP Den Tex

A Little Song For You (words & music JP Den Tex)

The day started bright
But it wouldn’t last
Soon lost all its charm…
The wind got up, the rain started pouring
And we hurried back to the farm
The cattle mooed, it was getting dark
And it was plain to see
This could well be the meanest storm
Since 1953
Since 1953

Here I’m sitting
In the eye of the storm
Nothing I can do
But bide my time and have some fun
And sing a little song for you

Shalala Shalalalalala
Shalala Shalalalalala
Shalala Shalalalalala
And sing a little song for you…

The farmer grinned:
“Hey, I’m not surprised..
You’d better take good care of your wife
We’ve got this bed-and-breakfast here
To keep folks like you alive
Let Amarillo wait for you
Until that storm has passed…
We’re only tiny creatures when
God puts us to the test
Then we can be smart at best…”

I’m sitting here drinking
In the eye of the storm
Nothing I can do

But bide my time and have some fun
And sing a little song for you

Shalala Shalalalala
Shalala Shalalalala
Shalala Shalalalala
And sing a little song for you…

Mon Desir Noir

Written By: JP Den Tex

Mon Désir Noir - words & music : JP Den Tex

Mon désir noir
My desert noir
C’est mon désir noir
My desert noir

Changez, changez, changez
Darkness, darkness go away
Mon désir noir

I was released from the Tucson County Jail, after they received a phone call from the hospital in El Paso that Elena was out of danger. She had also made an official statement that the scars all over her body had nothing do with any wrongdoing on my part. I learned that she lost the baby first - after that she had decided she'd better put an end to it all….

Mon désir noir
My desert noir
C'est mon désir noir
My desert noir

Several times I tried to get her on the phone… But each time the nurses in El Paso came back with the (usual) reply that Elena felt so ashamed she couldn't bring herself to pick up the phone and talk to me. Oh, man, I was devastated… Something between me and her had gone wrong in a BIG, BIG way.

Changez, changez, changez
Darkness, darkness go away!
C'est mon désir noir…

Mon désir noir
My desert noir
C'est mon désir noir
My desert noir
Mon désir noir

Down & Out In Phoenix

Written By: JP Den Tex

Down & Out In Phoenix

I reached Phoenix on a Greyhound bus
I'd dumped the damned Toyota
My mind was tugging at the reins
My heart a lone coyote
Night was falling as I walked
Towards the Western Plaza
Inside a TV set was on
Some kidnapping in Gaza
Tom Petty 'd won a Grammy -
Thanked his wife - and his Heartbreakers
Visa 'd blocked my credit card
The Suns just beat the Lakers
As I still had some cash to burn
I paid them for two nights
Went to my room and fell asleep
That's when I saw the lights…

Down & out in Phoenix
Steep and sudden fall from grace
A desert strewn with broken dreams
A future with no face

Then suddenly this carrousel
Some wondrous magic scene…
It spins you round and lifts you up
Among stars you've never seen
The future's dim, the past looks pale
Beyond its weary throne…
The present holds the biggest hall
You feel you're not alone
You go ahead and enter
She's already by your side
The lights are unforgettable
So colorful, so bright
And in your ears that chant of love
"Come closer, don't be shy… "
There, on a silver platter lies
The stone that makes us cry

Down & out in Phoenix
Steep and sudden fall from grace
A desert strewn with broken dreams
A future with no face

Down & out
Down & out in Phoenix

Love So Helpless

Written By: JP Den Tex

Love So Helpless - music: JP Den Tex/Leon Klaasse, words: JP Den Tex

Stranded in Tucson, Arizona
Saddest story of my life
In the glaring heat of Tucson
Her truth was cutting like a knife
Stranded in Tucson, Arizona
Without sleep, way out of line
I was trapped, I was alone
Out of touch and out of time
With no simple, clear cut answer
To this question on my mind
Could I somehow have prevented it?
Love so helpless, love so blind

The hospital would soon confirm it
She’d been pregnant, hey what’s new?
Gee Oh Dee, you should have warned me…
Love so helpless, love so true
In that prison cell in Tucson
Her truth was cutting like a knife
My own trauma was rekindled
Childhood grief came back to life

I had a vision of Our Savior
He was standing in my cell
Said His Fate had made Him lonely
Heaven felt a lot like hell
Said He missed our human sharing
He'd gotten tired of his plight
This endless praying in the desert
Night & day and day & night

Who can free a man from sorrow
If he keeps failure on his mind?
That's the trouble with compassion
Love so helpless, love so blind…

Discography

Tortilla (1971)
Heartbeat (1980)
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...

Set List

Sets are usually quite long, 1.30 hrs being the average show. Two sets, or just one (especially in theatres)