By Chris Illich
After the ultimate demise of his rock ‘n’ roll group Attack in Black, the Welland frontman-turned-singer/songwriter Daniel Romano shifted focus and started on a solo career to call his own.
Romano just released his fourth album, If I’ve Only One Time Askin’ on New West Records this past June, and has been relentlessly touring in support of it.
If I’ve Only One Time Askin’ was self-produced by the well-dressed Romano in Welland, and the Niagara artist explained that he a special affinity to the region.
“[Welland] is the place I make [music] and refine it and record it. It has been for 15 years, and it will continue to be,” he said.
“I’m away for most of the year, so the Niagara Region is what I will always call home and what I will always come back to.”
While Romano self-produced and largely performed most of the instrumentation on If I’ve Only One Time Askin’, which features a collection of 11 tracks of Mosey-driven music, a self-created label to describe his music. But, when performing live, he performs with his backing band The Trilliums.
“The music as a performance is still a collaborative effort in a lot of ways. I’ve had to find the very best people to play with in order to relieve myself of over rehearsing,” he said.
“These people I have with me now are all bringing something beyond their personalities to the table. We are all the trees blowing and the wind is another thing I can’t explain. All I know is the movement is there and the air is nice.”
Romano’s 2013 LP Come Cry With Me was released on New West’s emerging artist imprint Normaltown Records. It was released to critical acclaim and was long-listed for the Polaris Music Prize and received a Juno nod for Roots & Traditional Solo Album Of the Year. Come Cry With Me, set the modern day crooner on a path to further his career.
If I’m Only One Time Askin’ was handled and released on New West, putting him in company of Steve Earle and John Hiatt among others, artists that Romano has a high level of respect for, “as anyone without a buried head would”.
“It’s nice company of course. The label itself is a diamond in the rough. They genuinely care for their artists and happen to be the people who immerse themselves in music beyond their positions,” he explained.
“In fact, they all seem to work to the highest level and with true passion. That is not very common for anyone in the music “business” that I’ve ever known and I consider myself lucky to have people like that working with me.”
In addition to performing his own music, Romano has also worked on the production side, or lending his talents otherwise with other artists and groups such as The Luyas, Fred Squire, Julie Doiron and The Weather Station.
Daniel Romano performs at the First Ontario Performing Arts Centre on November 18 with Steven Lambke.