INTERVIEW: Nashville Americana Singer-Songwriter D.L. Rossi

Hi D.L., welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

I’ve been good, I’m excited to be featured on VENTS thanks so much!

Can you talk to us more about your song “Good Woman”?

Yeah! Good Woman is a tune that I wrote about the first person I really fell for here in Nashville. So, at its core its really a love song. But, the musical inspiration really came from some close friends I was a guitar tech for the first few years I moved here. The band I worked for and our bus driver would stay up late and show me old school country songs, I grew up in Michigan and wasn’t a big country guy. I fell in love with song writers like Tom T. Hall and I wanted to write a modern country rock song that had all the heart and guts of old school country but with some progressive/modern changes to the narrative. I hope fans of country music take to it and feel like I honored the genre well!

Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?

Not an event but a person. The woman I wrote this tune about was a super strong, fun, and had a heart for adventure. Being with her was just super fun. So, I just took some inspiration from some classic country tunes and put together something I thought would be fun. The song really came to life in the studio, playing it live with the band I had was just a joy to record.

Any plans to release a video?

Not right now, but I would love to work on one in the future.

Can you tell me about the inspiration behind the title track A Sweet Thing?

“A Sweet Thing” is actually about the same person “Good Woman” is about. They work hand in hand. Where one song is about the falling for someone, the other is about losing that someone. I was working about 150-160 days on the road for a year as a guitar tech when I met her and the road just doesn’t let people stay together sometimes. In the end “A Sweet Thing” is about falling in love in Nashville and losing it.

How was the recording and writing process?

Recording wise we tracked 80% of the album live at a studio in East Nashville called “The Echo base.” I had some really good friends and musicians help me out and my older brother Nolan Rossi produced and engineered. It was my first record that I ever tracked that way and I loved the energy we got out of the takes and performances. We ended up overdubbing a few vocals that had too much bleed, some solos, BGV’s and a few acoustic takes. Writing wise these songs are just a collection of tunes that I start out with as just voice memo’s on my phone. Then I demo them out on protools by myself, re-demo them, and then re-demo them. By the time I hit the studio I always have complete song ideas to show the producer and band I work with. I find its best for me to get all my ideas out that way everyone is clear on my vision for the songs and I am more open to hearing and trying out new ideas because I know I’ve worked the songs as much as I can.

How did the process of putting together this album differ from your 2013 self-titled record?

Well, my 2013 record was full of a lot of anxious energy and the unknown. That was my first time doing a record of my songs about my life. When my brother and I started talking about doing “A Sweet Thing” I had all the songs ready, we knew the vision, and it was just about scheduling the band we knew we wanted in a room we could track live in. This is my 5th release working with my brother and we work very well together. I don’t think I’ve ever had as much fun tracking a record as I did with “A Sweet Thing.”

What role does Nashville (feel free to name other specific towns) play in your music?

A Sweet thing is all about Nashville and Michigan. Its about what I left behind and what I moved too. Writing this record I was inspired by the local scene of song-writers and the sound coming out of Nashville and I tried to mix that with the sound I have cultivated in myself growing up and playing in Michigan. There is such a rich tradition in Nashville and so much talented I just tried my best to honor it by doing the things I do best, hopefully people feel that in the songs.

What aspect of your life did you get to explore on this record?

I explore life after a divorce for sure. the ups and downs of learning to date again, learning how to go out and be social again. I tackle the struggles that come from depression and going out and drinking way too much. This is the story of me putting my life back together again after I lost a lot.

Where else did you find the inspiration for the songs and lyrics?

I always find inspiration in other artist. For this record I would say I pulled a lot of classic country like Tom T. Hall, Willie Nelson, Etc… But, in terms of modern writers David Ramirez has been a huge inspiration for me for the last 4 years. His voice, his songs, and his writing style a big inspirations to me.

Any plans to hit the road?

Yes, I’m currently booking shows and I have a show in Nashville at the 5 spot April 10th with my friends Stephie James, Reuben Bidez, and Mark Fredson. Also, I have a show back in Michigan opening for Nashville great Aaron Lee Tasjan on April 13th.

What else is happening next in D.L. Rossi’s world?

I’m just writing my next group of songs and trying to get out there and meet new people and share music. Thanks so much!

Listen here

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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