A Sweet Thing
Heartfelt, Raw and Passionate Alt. Country.
Las night I planned to review something completely different than this latest release by DL Rossi, but after not playing it for a couple of weeks, something drew me to the artwork on the cover and here I am, about to start gushing about this guy, his voice and his wonderful songs.
I’ve said before ‘music effects you in many ways depending on your emotional state at a particular time’ and so it has been with this EP/Album this morning.
I knew the songs from a couple of weeks ago; but this morning …… woah…. they have taken me not just by surprise but as a musical hostage!
At first sight opening track This Road is a staple of the Americana/Roots scene; but there’s something quite magical about the way Nolan Rossi’s delicate production brings out the sadness; no…. the tragedy in DL’s voice as he pulls us through an emotional ringer, on a story of being in the middle of a real-life shoot-em-up and the mixed emotions such a trauma leaves someone with.
For a young man, DL has had his fair share of troubles, from testicular cancer through a failed marriage that followed a nervous breakdown and not forgetting his dalliance with Punk Rock getting him ostracised from the Christian community he had belonged to growing up.
But being a songwriter; those tattered emotions just make for damn fine songs; listen to the mournful Love Song A Sweet Thing to understand where I’m coming from!
There’a blue-collar Alt. Country essence to Good Woman; you know the type that Steve Earle used to create and Rossi grabs that tarnished mantle with a new found fervour on this heart-crushing love song.
On the deep, dark and soulful More Seconds Rossi takes to the acoustic guitar, and with the assistance of Mollie Parden and Corrie Bechler on backing vocals they combine to create a song worthy of Gram Parsons at his most eloquent.
A drummer by profession, it’s no surprise that DL has a wonderful way with timing on these songs, especially so on Something Back which just sweeps you along like a leaf in the wind.
With only 7 songs here; and each one has effected me in some way, selecting a Favourite has certainly not been easy; with Be Your Man and it’s inherent passion oozing from every single line being a contender; but I’m going for the song that should be a Radio Hit if it weren’t for the judicial use of the word ‘shit’ in every other stanza!
Better is one of those songs that a writer only manages to write once in a lifetime; as many people listening to it will think ‘that is about me!’
In Better Rossi really encapsulates the raw emotions you feel when things are spiralling out of control;
“I lost a lot
But I also lost myself
Doing things I never thought I’d do
And I’m broken up
But that isn’t an excuse
To be an asshole after a few.”
History shows that Rossi does come out the other side; with a fabulous song in tow too. Not everyone is so lucky.
I have a Gretchen Peter’s T-Shirt that says ‘Sad Songs Make Me Happy’ and that phrase neatly encapsulates my feelings about DL Rossi’s songs here; they are as sad as sad can be; but they are as intrinsically beautiful and tragic as can be but hopeful and eloquent too, and the world is a better place that they are available for the likes of me and you to wallow in his prose.