Along with divorce and maybe death, they say moving is one of the most stressful things one can deal with in life. It can certainly be catalyst for some deep introspection- packing up one’s life and going somewhere completely new, or maybe even more harrowing, returning somewhere once known but now changed. These feelings are all too familiar for me, having returned to my home state after 10 years in Los Angeles after COVID-19 hit stateside. And even without this experiential bias, DL Rossi’s “Great Lakes State Line” is a touching testament to the melancholy of change.
Affected guitar leaps into earshot to walk us into Michigan where we meet Rossi’s gentle voice- “with broken roads and grayer head/ like my father’s father, I’m starting again.” The travel from Rossi’s former residence in Nashville to his new-old destination is presented not simply as a homecoming, but as a reflection on the changes that all things undertake over time- people and places alike. The sympathy and nostalgia in the bass’s waltzing descent throughout the verses both soothes and saddens the heart in a way that much of modern country music too often misses the mark with. “Going hard, going fast / after the things I thought would last” he coos in a beautiful harmony of the chorus. Plaintive and honest, words like these make much of the room in which they have to move, not so much prisoners of the white lines on the freeway as they are counting them patiently with every changed lane.
“Great Lakes State Line” is out now and streaming everywhere- don’t pass it up.
Review by Bobby Guard