If you go
› What: Mitch Rossell with Ross Ellis
› Where: Revelry Room, 41 Station St.
› When: Friday, Aug. 18, at 9 p.m.
› Admission: $15 in advance, $18 day of
› For more information: 423-521-2929
Mitch Rossell's latest album is called "Raised by the Radio," but the way things are currently going for him, he must feel like he is living in the radio, mixing and mingling with his music heroes.
"It's crazy, and you are absolutely right," he said.
Not only is he opening shows on tour with Garth Brooks, Rossell has been writing with the country superstar for the last couple of years. Brooks' current radio hit is "Ask Me How I Know," which Rossell wrote. Hearing Brooks sing a song he wrote and hearing fans sing along is pretty heady stuff for Rossell.
"It's definitely getting louder with the crowds singing along and that is pretty great. I thought this song might appeal to people closer to my age — 25-50 — but it's the young people, 15, 16 years old. I grew up listening to songs that changed my life or had an impact on me and to think I've written something that might be the fabric of someone's life in some way ... it's amazing."
Rossell, 29, graduated from Silverdale Baptist Academy and the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga with a brief stop at Virginia Tech. In addition to doing all of the upcoming U.S. dates on tour with Garth Brooks, he is playing some shows with a five-piece band in support of his own record. He will make a stop here Friday, Aug. 18, for a show at Revelry Room.
Since moving to Nashville in 2010, Rossell has worked with everyone from Eric Church to the Zac Brown Band. You also might remember that Rossell garnered some national attention when Brooks got 21,000 people to sing "Happy Birthday" to Rossell in Dallas in 2015.
It might seem that things are moving fast for Rossell, and he said that while he is very busy, he remains determined to do things that fit his core values.
"It's kind of hectic because I'm trying to do everything myself. I definitely am doing it my way. I don't have a day-to-day person, and I don't have a manager right now."
"Raised on the Radio" is technically his fourth record, but Rossell said he feels like it's his first.
"I did those others before I knew who I was and what I wanted to do," he said.
He said that when he arrived in Nashville, the trend in country music was toward what is referred to as "bro country," popularized by guys like Florida Georgia Line. Rossell said that wasn't his style, so he had to remain true to himself and his music, which would fall more into traditional country.
He needed time to get a grip on "some core things. I'm not saying I'm not still learning. It is a hard thing in this town. You are around all these people who are having success, and I'm happy for them, but it wasn't what I wanted to do."
As for jumping between worlds where he is playing a solo show with his band in front of 300 or 400 people to doing four songs with just an acoustic guitar in front of a Brooks crowd of 20,000 to 40,000 people is "not good or bad, just different.
"Garth is so supportive of me as a writer and as a person. I know that nobody is there to see me, but he believes in me and wants me to do well."
Contact Barry Courter at email@example.com or 423-757-6354.