The Americana-blues singer-songwriter gives C&I a first listen to his upcoming LP, A Sweet Thing, available on April 12.
The artist: Ripped straight from his Facebook page: “D.L. Rossi is a singer-songwriter who lives in Nashville … and is originally from Michigan. He writes honest songs about life, loss, and beauty we find between.”
The album: A Sweet Thing, available on April 12.
What Rossi says about the album: “A Sweet Thing is a collection of songs that represents the last year or so of my life. It’s about living in a new town, falling in love, losing it, falling apart, and picking up the pieces. It’s about trying to become a better person in your 30s when you’re fighting all the demons from your past and you feel worn-out and washed up.
“I started writing the songs that would become A Sweet Thing a year and a half into living in Nashville. I had moved from Michigan after a divorce and I was on the road working as a guitar tech. I was lonely, tired, and unsure of what direction to take my life. Looking back now I can see I was lonely, tired, and unsure because I was still mourning.
“One off day, back in Nashville, I went to the Opry Mills Mall to see a movie. I was in the food court getting a coffee when I saw a wave of people come around the corner running and screaming ‘Run!’ I assumed the worst, a shooting, and ran with the crowd out of the mall and I kept running to the back of the parking lot to the exit ramp. I was trying to call an Uber to get home, but no Ubers could get into the mall’s parking lot because the police had shut down the exits. So, I walked 4 miles up Briley Parkway and finally got an Uber.
“While walking up the expressway I called my mom and my dad and my brothers. The conversation was awkward: ‘Hey, it’s me. I know you don’t know what's going on, but I was at the mall today and there was a shooting of some kind. … I don’t know I’m not really sure. But, I’m OK. I made it out.’ They expressed concern and care, but it brought me back to the life I left back at home. The time spent with a person who was there for you, who generally knew where you were and what you were doing, and I felt very alone.
“When I got home that night I spent some time with my new roommate and new friends around a fire. I didn’t talk much. I wouldn’t talk much for a few weeks. But it was nice to be able to decompress and relax.
“A Sweet Thing contains songs that use these stories as narratives about my life and what I’m learning about love, loss, and life. It’s an honest look by me into the glue that holds people together and how someone can learn to live past the emotional hurt and keep moving forward. Life doesn’t slow down — it keeps throwing new things at us. But love, in whatever form it comes into our life, has the ability to help us find some hope.”
Why we like it: Written in the wake of a divorce, the songs show Rossi leading with his emotions and feelings. Out of the loss and the grief, he mines deep insights and personal growth. The open vulnerability of that sharing makes for some refreshingly real music.
Album highlights: The catchy “Good Woman,” the dreamy acoustic “Something Back,” and the harmonized “A Sweet Thing.”
For more information on D.L. Rossi and his upcoming tour dates, visit his website. Photography: Courtesy Reuben Bidez.