BongoBeat Kevin House: Gutter Pastoral

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Ralph Alfonso
Bongo Beat Records
2049 Melrose Ave.
Montreal, Quebec
H4A 2R6

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Kevin House: Gutter Pastoral Available in stores: April-May, 2004

UPC: 7-6700-31966-2-7
Catalog number: BB 1966-2


Canada: This CD is distributed by Outside Music, Toronto.
USA: This CD is distributed by Burnside Distribution, Portland, Oregon.
JAPAN: we are looking for distribution
AUSTRALIA: we are looking for distribution
INT'L: Please contact Ralph Alfonso (see Export Orders)
EXPORT ORDERS: please contact Ralph Alfonso directly at

Note: This CD can also be ordered for export via Isotope Music, Canada.

Artist Websites:
01 Stories Without Words
02 Twilight In Wilderness
03 Black Smoke Rising
04 I Don't Believe In You
05 Rise Up
06 Duskpoem
07 Waltzing With The Hellhound
08 Down To The Wire
09 Let Me Out
10 Disappearing Girl

  • "Stylistically, the songs live somewhere on the deserted highway between Tom Waits and Leonard Cohen, wavy smokey innocent words across simple musical ideas" Timothy Taylor, The National Post
  • Soulful, quiet, impressionistic mood pieces
  • Kevin House has performed live with Gillian Welch, Mercury Rev, Jim White, Evan Dando, and others
  • CD is stickered with key info/press quotes
  • An acclaimed painter whose work has been discovered and commissioned by actor Malcolm McDowell and CBC host Bill Richardson; as well as covers for Bark! and Girlyhead magazines; watch for upcoming art exhibits and related concerts throughout Canada / USA this year
  • Features guest co-vocal by Samantha Parton of The Be Good Tanyas; CD mastered by ex-Pure Todd Simko (first Tanyas CD)
  • CD engineered by Gord Nicholl and John Armstrong of legendary punk bands Pointed Sticks, and The Modernettes. Stories Without Words, Black Smoke Rising, I Don't Believe In You, Down To The Wire and Let Me Out were originally recorded and engineered by Malaika Killingsworth.

Impressionistic, soulful, with vivid metaphors, Kevin House's songs are intimate, ornate; burnished with beautiful melodies that stay with you.

Gutter Pastoral, his debut album, is a dinner party where lyrical poetry, and hushed mournful music are the main course. Spooky little fairy tales are what engineer Gord Nichol said while in the process of recording the album - featuring guest musicians Samantha Parton (The Be Good Tanyas), trumpet player JP Carter (Millenium Project), upright bass player Russell Sholberg (Tony Wilson Quintet), saw player Enzo Garcia (Jolie Holland), and pianist Mike Derrick (ex-Radiogram).

At times bringing to mind a more weatherbeaten Nick Drake, there's something of the European chanson tradition at work here also; with a jazz influence creeping in here and there plus unusual guitar voicings, and strange ambient nuances.

Born in England, Kevin immigrated to Canada in the early 1970s on the Queen Mary ocean liner. Growing up partly in the prairies and on the road with his parents; traveling and living in California and Arizona certainly influenced his later interests in Carnivals, sideshows, oddball history and storytelling. Living on the west coast of Canada, Kevin detoured to Manhattan for 2 years in 1999 playing clubs on the lower east side; making the New York pilgrimage as other writers before him for the inspiration that comes from such a diverse and energized city. Coming back from NYC as a painter as well as a songwriter, Kevin now splits his duties between painting circus sideshow banners and writing and performing songs. Written primarily on acoustic guitar and the Fun Machine (an antique home organ from the 1960s), Kevin's "spooky fairytale songs" can now be heard on his debut album, Gutter Pastoral.

"Kevin House was a struggling songwriter who was obsessed with carnivals. Then a fateful brush with a circus freak turned him into one of the world's hottest folk artists...who is much in demand of late for his very particular variety of portrait. Not just of dogs and kids, either, but of writers, poets, sideshow characters and assorted human oddities, all in the style of old carnival banners."
— The National Post

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