Daniel Romano is, by far, my favorite modern country artist. Or rather, he would be if he would be if he were a modern country artist. In his own words:
“The name country music is in fact dead. However, the music is very much alive and is now called mosey. Since its inception, country has been making changes to appeal to a wider audience. It was inevitable that the sound would be compromised to the point where the meaning of the name has completely changed. But, two can play at this game. Mosey represents the original sound that I grew up with.”
And he does it damn well. To me, Romano sounds like a perfect combination of Willie Nelson, George Jones, and Mike Cooley. His voice is reminiscent of Nelson and The Possum, but his lyrics are written in a straightforward fashion that reminds a Drive By Truckers fan immediately of Mike Cooley’s candid lyricism.
I found Daniel Romano shortly after a not-so-mutual breakup with a woman. Of course, part of my healing process consisted of a heavy dose of sad country songs, and Romano’s new album, Come Cry With Me, struck a chord with me like nothing ever has. The first listen blew me away and I’m still astounded every time I listen to it. If you think you don’t enjoy classic country in the vein of George Jones, this album will change your mind. If you are a fan of older country like Hank Williams Sr. or The Possum, you need to buy this album. Not eventually, not “real quick,” right fucking now. You won’t be disappointed.
What also struck me about Romano is that he was born and raised in Ontario. I’m probably showing my ignorance, but when I think of country music, Canada is one of the last places that comes to mind. Call me old-fashioned, but I’ve always associated country music with the American Southwest and Southeast. Now I know that Canada is home to one of the greatest country musicians the world has ever heard.
Come Cry With Me consists of one great song right after another, and there is absolutely no filler on the ten-song album. The album is dominated by songs of lost love, but saves room for a couple outliers, such as “Chicken Bill” and “Middle Child.” “Chicken Bill” seems somewhat out of place on the album, but nevertheless, the song is brilliant. While every track on the album is essentially perfect, a few highlights from the album are “I’m Not Crying (Over You),” “Just Between You and Me” and the closing track “A New Love (Can Be Found).” The latter is definitely my favorite. It seems as if Romano is channeling the spirit of George Jones himself.
If you’re already a fan of classic country, go ahead and buy this album. You won’t regret the purchase. Alternately, don’t let your preconceptions about country music stop you from experiencing this incredible album. Regardless of your genre preferences, it’s worth a listen for the lyrical content alone. Come Cry With Me is beautiful; it’s tragic; it’s pure country greatness.