Photo by Reuben Bidez
Like Jason Isbell, an artist he greatly admires, Americana singer-songwriter DL Rossi found himself at a young age with a life he was ready to leave behind, after of course he wrote some songs about it. His upcoming new release, “A Sweet Thing” drops on April 12. Call it his “Southeastern,” Rossi’s lyrical honesty laments the painful memories of his drinking days, the heartbreak of his divorce, and the fears from battling a serious illness. The result is a fine collection of songs that leave the past behind for a hopeful future.
Says DL: “I hope when people listen to my songs they feel a sense of understanding and welcome. The music that has always affected me the most has been from writers like Tom Petty, David Bazan, Jackson Browne, or Ryan Adams. Writers who welcome you into a world that feels very familiar to your own and invites you to share in the emotions that we all face.”
Rossi started out as a drummer who turned to writing lyrics and found himself in the unusual role as a member of the Free Credit Score Band in those silly but memorable TV ads. He eventually found his own muse and in 2013 released a self-titled debut record. Last year saw his acclaimed “Crooked Love Volume 1” EP.
Thanks DL for your eleven answers below. See you all at The 5 Spot album release show on April 10 at 9pm.
Where are you from originally, when did you move to Nashville and why?
I’m originally from Sterling Heights, MI. It’s a small suburb about 30 minutes outside Detroit. I moved to Nashville about three years ago. I was going through a divorce and needed a change. I decided to pack things up and head here to figure out my new normal and grow more as a songwriter.
What are the first and the last records you bought, and where did you buy them? Were they CD, vinyl or digital?
I’ll be honest. Recently I have just been buying digital. But the first record I ever bought was CCM artist DC Talk’s album Jesus Freak on CD. I was like 12 or 13 and very excited at the time. I even saw them at the Palace of Auburn Hills later that year. The last record I bought was Strange Town by David Ramirez in digital format. I’ve been a huge fan of his music since Apologies, and he is coming to town at the end of May to play his entire catalog over three nights at the High Watt. I wanted to go back and get into his older music in preparation for these shows.
First and last live concerts that you’ve seen?
First live concert was Geoff Moore and the Distance, another CCM group. It was a fun night with my family and funny to think about now. The last show I went to was a new faces night in Nashville to see friends play. I’m a regular at Two Dollar Tuesdays as well. There are so many great shows and great artists in Nashville, and I try to take advantage of it.
Whose star should be added to the Music City Walk of Fame?
I would say Tom T. Hall. I didn’t grow up on his music, but the past two years I have had some close friends share his music with me. “How I Got to Memphis” is one of my all-time favorites now.
Where do you go in Nashville for coffee and pizza?
For pizza, I’m a big DeSano Pizza & Bakery fan. I love their pizza. For coffee, there are so many great spots, but a personal favorite for me is Headquarters on Charlotte Ave.
What’s your favorite record to ever come out of Nashville?
Jason Isbell’s Southeastern was huge for me. The song “Elephant” in particular is a personal favorite. It doesn’t get much better for me in terms of songwriting.
Where’s the best place to eat late night after a show?
I’m gonna be pretty standard and say Dino’s is the best. You can’t beat the vibe or the food, especially in the summer when you can sit out back.
The Bluebird calls and asks you to host an “In the Round.” Pick three local songwriters to join you.
What are your favorite music venues to play in town?
I love the original Basement. There is so much history there. It feels like a rock venue and reminds me of some of my favorite venues to play back in Michigan.
Name a musician who you’d like to see move here?
I mean, I would love it if David Ramirez moved to town. Being able to see him play local spots when he isn’t on the road would be amazing.
Finally, what’s in your musical future?
Right now, I’m working on the release of my new LP A Sweet Thing out on April 12! I’ll also be playing a show April 10 at The 5 Spot with my friends Reuben Bidez, Stephie James, and Mark Fredson.