Rupert Wates


Photo by Marco Prozzo

Oh what a musical January I’ve had! (here, here, and here). I even had a last minute drop in to the country, Western opening act (Michael Claytor & Sam Moss) to The Hideaway Cafes Soul Saturday last night.

Interesting to have a country, Western group before a soul show. Also hilarious. I particularly liked the song about a man marrying an alien.

Rupert Wates helped round out the month at a lovely house concert. 

2nd SigningI met Rupert and first experienced his music live in April 2015, because he participated in the Listening Room Festival. A fellow house concert lover introduced me to his music and a book of short stories he wrote about Paris via Facebook. I love books and I love Paris, so I bought the book. Since he was in town for the LRF, I asked him to sign it for me. He must have forgotten signing it, because a month or so ago he sent me an e-mail saying that he’d be in town again and he’d like to sign my book. I didn’t correct him when I rediscovered it was already signed. I brought it along to the concert tonight, and I had him sign it again.

“The story continues…” I think we started a tradition…

The autograph saga got me to the show (partly), but of course, I was really there for the music. I accidently got my times mixed up. I thought show time was 5:00, with a mingling time from 4:00-5:00. I arrive at about 4:10. Fortunately the show hadn’t started, but the show started up very soon after I got there.

Rupert started with “Happy to Be Here.” He played this house concert series a year or two ago. On the way, a woman pulled out and hit Rupert’s car. She was much worse than he was (though she ended up being Ok too), but he still made it to the show. He thought of that accident as he began this show tonight.

Rupert went back and forth between dark, sad songs and light, upbeat songs through his set.

After “Happy to Be Here,” he moved into “Prisoner of the Open Road.” He described the challenges and obligations that go into being a full-time traveling musician in this song. Living your dreams usually means some sort of trade-off along the way. This song was a sad reminder of some of those things.

Rupert is from England. He said he got rather sick of the rain, so he wrote a lot of songs about it. He moved into “Come in, Come out of the Rain.” It’s a rather jaunty song that makes you feel good about trying to get out of the rain.

“After the Rains” was next. He prefaced this song by saying his sister requested he sing it for his brother’s funeral when he died in an unexpected accident. Rupert said he didn’t really know what the song was about until the loss of his brother. I like the idea that the meaning of a song might be malleable from when it first leaves a songwriter…

“Born to Lose” was an incredibly moving song. Rupert said that one day he passed a homeless man on the New York streets. The man groaned, and then died at Rupert’s feet. Rupert never learned the man’s name, even as the paramedics and police carried him away. Rupert wrote the unknown man a song. I’m glad that man has a small place of remembrance in the world…

Rupert’s second set (or the extension of the first set) was primarily love songs. He asked for anyone who hates love songs to speak up. I don’t hate them, but I’m not in the mood for them right this second. I didn’t want to speak up… They were lovely, but it was harder for me to connect with them.

I’ve been more in a the mood for sad songs this week…

But his songs are still lovely. Maybe the love songs will start permeating.

He started his love song setwith “Long Time Coming.” He said he wrote this one about a spring that took a long time coming, but it certainly also applies to finding love after it taking a long time to come.

Lady Grey resonated with me. He said a friend contacted him, and she’d found her first grey hair. He wrote this love song about staying even when her hair turns long and grey…

Rupert ended the night with “Prayer.” I really like this song. He said it’s for those people who don’t have a prayer. I think of it more as those who might need an extra prayer or two, and I thought of my aunt (because of this, this, and this). She needs an extra prayer or too right now…

I’m glad I got out and experienced some really moving music. It was cool seeing Rupert again and getting him to sign my book again. It was also nice to meet some new people at a house concert series I’ve never been to before.

I’m also glad I’ve experienced so much awesome music this week. I don’t think I’ll be able to keep up this pace through the year for monetary reasons, but I’m glad I’ve begun it on this note. (har har)


**I don’t take video when I’m at shows, because I’d rather fully experience the music instead. YouTube gives you a good idea of what I experienced, but you’ll have to check him out in real life! I didn’t get any pictures of this show either, because it was my first time to this house concert series and I didn’t want to be obtrusive to the other attendees.**


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2 Responses to Rupert Wates

  1. Great to see you again and a pleasure to play for you Christy!
    Many thanks as always for your interest in the music.
    I’ll be back in Florida again in December. Maybe see you then –
    or perhaps some other place on the winding road, if our paths happen to cross!
    Very best in 2016 and thanks again,

    • Christy

      Great to see you too! I hope to catch you in December! Of course, I’ll bring my copy of your book for another signature too… 😉