Video premiere | D.B. Rouse – The Only Designated Driver in Milwaukee is Having a Pity Party

Photo by Darin Dubinsky

Hailing from Milwaukee, singer-songwriter D.B. Rouse has worked many hats. His previous occupations range from a cruise ship lounge singer between Miami and New York, simultaneously crooning while maintaining trails at a ranch in Austin, and milking goats and making cheese from said milk in Burnsville. All of this and more is on Rouse’s online resume, which is pretty convincing of his many and varied talents, if you ask us.

His jangly new single, ‘The Only Designated Driver in Milwaukee is Having a Pity Party’, is just as fun and reflective as its title is on-the-nose. Musically, with jingly percussion and a singular-driving acoustic groove, the song sounds and palpably feels like an old-school bar song given a new lick of paint. Given its prevalent themes, that much is utterly appropriate. It must also be said that Rouse is a strong contender for ‘Kazoo Solo of the Year’ across the song’s bridge, which he promptly lights aflame.


Speaking with For Folk’s Sake, Rouse says…

“This song and video are about the unsung hero of most drinking songs:The designated driver.There are two cities in America that I am in love with. This song takes place in one of them.The people and culture of Milwaukee keep me coming back year after year, and I’m proud to call it my part-time home.Milwaukee has a somewhat heavy drinking tradition, which is another reason it was the perfect setting for this song.Harry L-B did the animation for the video. It follows the story of a down and out designated driver, but it’s also a love letter to the good land I call home. He drew a handful of famous Milwaukee landmarks and venues into the sceneryThe real question in all of this though, have you told your designated driver that you love them recently?” 


02/02/2019: Terlingua, TX @ Starlight Theatre
02/09/2019: Terlingua, TX @ La Kiva
02/16/2019: Terlingua, TX @ La Kiva
02/23/2019: Terlingua, TX @ La Kiva
03/02/2019: Terlingua, TX @ La Kiva
03/09/2019: Terlingua, TX @ La Kiva
03/16/2019: Terlingua, TX @ La Kiva
03/23/2019: Terlingua, TX @ La Kiva
03/29/2019: San Antonio, TX @ Fitzgerald’s Bar & Live Music
03/30/2019: San Antonio, TX @ Barriba Cantina
04/01/2019: Houston, TX @ Spring Branch Tavern
04/03/2019: Houston, TX @ JP Hop’s House
04/06/2019: La Rose, LA @ The Willow
04/10/2019: Tallahassee, FL @ Blue Tavern
04/13/2019: Cape Coral, FL @ Rack’Em Billiards
04/20/2019: Dahlonega, GA @ Shenanigan’s
04/21/2019: North Charleston, SC @ The Mill Lounge
04/23/2019: Wilmington, NC @ Juggling Gypsy Cafe
04/25/2019: Wilmington, NC @ Flytrap Brewing
05/01/2019: Thomas, WV @ Purple Fiddle
05/03/2019: Charleston, WV @ The Boulevard Tavern
05/07/2019: Buffalo, NY @ 9th Ward at Babeville (w/ Brendan Shea)
05/09/2019: Kent, OH @ The Stone Tavern
05/10/2019: Petoskey, MI @ Beards Brewery
05/11/2019: Traverse City, MI @ The Acoustic Tap Room
05/13/2019: Petoskey, MI @ Red Sky Stage
05/18/2019: Iron Mountain, MI @ Sol Blu
05/25/2019: Milwaukee, WI @ Bremen Cafe

Words by: Jonathan Frahm (@jfrahm_)

Photo by: Darin Dubinsky