10.21.22 Daniel Romano's OutfitNov 03, 2022
At first glance, you might worry that you are about to be slapped by an emotiv country twang after being transported to the dust bowl of America. The stage is decorated with an antique ceramic dog, some embroidered cloth and a band displaying a vintage country closet’s best kept secrets. Their look could make Loretta Lynn blush. Although Daniel Romano’s Outfit is capable of giving you that classic country vibe, their ability to genre blend and still sound like the same group is their masterful stroke. How a band leader like Daniel Romano managed to bring in equally talented elements of the Canadian and Texas music scene like Carson McHone (vocals, guitar, percussion) and Julianna Riolino (vocals, guitar) is immediately evident when they rattle off a set with almost no breathing room between songs. “The 7th Street Entry on a Wednesday night?” my friends and I said to each other while we stood in line watching the room fill up to near capacity. Without any notice, the band took the stage gracing us with a set led by Carson McHone at center stage featuring cuts from her recently released record Still Life. Backed by the rest of Daniel Romano’s outfit, which also included bassist Roddy Rosetti and Daniel’s own brother Ian Romano on drums, they gleefully supported her new songs.
This was the first taste of one of “The Outfit’s” greatest super powers. Their three part harmonies. Daniel, Carson and Julianna could easily carry a successful tour individually, but when they come together, it’s hard not to think of the power you get from Fleetwood Mac. You see, Daniel Romano’s outfit takes from the past but reminds you that there are still memorable hooks to be written. If you’ve never had the chance to dig into the eight records, most recently the LP La Luna, this band has released since starting in 2020, think of a cross section of The Jam, The Exploding Hearts, Dolly Parton, Bob Dylan and Tom Petty. Daniel is a true talent when it comes to lead guitar and has almost no subtly when singing lead vocals on his countless and moving melodies. He hits you squarely in the jaw, and you ask for more.
At one point I looked down and saw that everyone was wearing leather boots. They dug their heels into the black, well worn floor of the 7th Street Entry’s stage and moved with an intensity and joy that you don’t often see in these stressful times. Maybe it’s because they are Canadian. One thing you can tell right off the bat is that they like and respect each other. Daniel’s name might be on the poster, but he left ample room in the set for Julianna to sing a handful of unbelievable songs intermixed with her laying her head on Daniel and Carson’s shoulders with pure love and purpose. They were building something together on a Wednesday night at the Entry and I couldn’t have felt more invited to their brand of dustbowl rock.
by Charlie Van Stee