Songwriter over the twelve-string edge.

Watch the "American Hands" CD Release show recorded live at Castaways!

Alan Rose is the songwriter over the twelve-string edge. Drawing from that corner of the musical world where rock, pop, country, and folk meet, his set shifts unpredictably from sensitive to funny, from mellow to high-energy, from power pop to waltz, at a moment’s notice. Alan is a prolific songwriter who has been making his mark on the Ithaca music scene since the mid 1990s. Prior to that, he spent nine years playing to crowds at colleges, open mics, and biker bars in the Philadelphia area.

American Hands CD Release - Alan Rose and the Restless Elements

Join us on Saturday, August 7th at Castaways! It's going to be a super-sized celebration of the release of Alan Rose's third CD, and the first with his seven-piece band the Restless Elements. American Hands is a collection of story-songs set in the U.S. of today, written with a focus on smart lyrics and catchy melodies.

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A quick list of influences combines names you’ll recognize like Springsteen, Costello, and Simon and Garfunkel with names you might not, like Crenshaw, Bragg, and Whiskeytown. Years of record collecting, including stints as a reviewer for Webster’s Weekly (one of the first web-only periodicals) and as a writer for magazine, have given him a depth of musical knowledge and a taste for the obscure. All of this listening has helped Alan develop a talent for turning universal emotions into memorable lyrics. Combine that with an ear for marrying those lyrics to hook-filled memories and you have songs that engage listeners on multiple levels.

His debut release, solitaire, appeared in 1993. It showcases eleven original compositions which display a range of themes and moods in a stark, solo-acoustic setting. It opens with the self- deprecating, world-beat flavored “You Don’t Want to Love Me,” and ends with the humorous, life- affirming “Grandpa and Martha Broke the Bed.” In between are poignantly revealing numbers reminiscent of early Jackson Browne like “Cold Night in Paradise,” a high-speed Attractions-style workout on “Settle Down,” and songs of melancholy and smiles alike.

In 2001, Alan returned to the studio to lay down more solo-acoustic demos. The result, Stripped Down Notions (2002), met the demand of fans who had been craving take-home versions of his more recent material, like the tongue-in-cheek love song “Codependency” and the beautiful, heartbreaking “Unspoken Passions.” Alan took the opportunity to provide revealing liner notes for this release as well, calling “Weather the Rain” his attempt at writing in the style of Dianne Warren and noting that the upbeat “Paint Off the Walls” has always wanted to be a zydeco song.


After an eight year gap, Alan released his third CD, and the first with his backing band the Restless Elements. American Hands (2010) is a collection of story-songs set in the U.S. of today, written with a focus on smart lyrics and catchy melodies. The Restless Elements are a high-energy seven-piece band that combines the forces of a pair of other Ithaca-area bands (Kites in Space and the Weeping Willards) into something entirely different. The four-piece rhythm section and three-piece horn section kick Alan's songs up a notch and guarantee that they'll keep you moving.

Always melodic, with intelligent lyrics and a great feel for the turn that makes a song, Alan Rose is a performer whose songs will stick with you long after he’s left the stage.

The band is:

Alan Rose (12-string guitar, lead vocals, songwriting)
Danny Abowd (trombone, vocals)
Benn Bartishevich (bass, vocals)
Stephen Burton (keyboards, vocals)
Jesse Gottlieb (trumpet, vocals)
Scott Nelson (electric guitar, vocals)
Chris Ploss (drums, vocals)
Isaac Schwartz (trumpet, vocals)