American Gospel recently played a stripped down version of their song “Hunting Bear.” Check it out below by clicking “Read More.”
The last three years have been frantic for The Republic of Wolves co-lead vocalist and guitarist Gregg Andrew DellaRocca. As a member of TRoW, DellaRocca has released two EPs and a full-length since 2009, but he has still found the time (and drive) to embark on a solo side project. Under the guise of American Gospel, DellaRocca explores a more theatric, sunny disposition while still maintaining the dichotomy between hope and sadness. American Gospel’s debut, Tall Tales Vol. 1, often juxtaposes dejected narratives over genial arrangements to great success.
Tall Tales Vol. 1 is composed of twelve stories influenced, to some extent, by DellaRocca’s personal experiences. Although he never quite delves into overtly intimate happenings, there is a clear indication that, on tracks such as the jangly, horn-backed “The Hanged Man,” DellaRocca is pulling from his own life. “The Hanged Man” is a striking song that pulls together a variety of sounds (from the horns that carry the chorus to the well-placed guitar solo that glues the components together) and provides a context for the entire record. There is a cornucopia of resonances present throughout Tall Tales Vol. 1; DellaRocca set out to, in his own words, “include a wide variety of emotions.” He does this through the incorporation of trombones, trumpets, saxophones, and banjos, most of which he plays himself. (Friends help out with various horns). DellaRocca’s ability to sidestep the potential potholes that inherently come with the use of copious different sounds is impressive. Even when transitioning from a piano-building exposé (“Say”) to a haunting blues track (“Hunting Boar”), American Gospel is still able to hold the product together as a whole.
Fans of The Republic of Wolves’ brand of ultra-melodic, aggressive music will find Tall Tales Vol. 1 familiar. The acoustic “Forget Not Yet” is the bastard brother of “Tuez Le Tous, Dieu Reconnaitra Les Siens” and “World Lines” could be the eighth song on The Cartographer EP. All three of DellaRocca’s bandmates in The Republic of Wolves make appearances on Tall Tales Vol. 1. The album’s haunting closer, “Geronimo,” finds Mason Maggio lending his voice; Billy Duprey contributes similarly on the old-world inspired “The Falling Feeling,” with Christian Van Deurs plucking along on the banjo. As much as American Gospel is a departure from TRoW for DellaRocca, TRoW is still a major player in Tall Tales Vol. 1’s overall construction and vibe.
The Republic Of Wolves singer/guitarist, Gregg DellaRocca, announced a new side-project just a few weeks ago called American Gospel. The new band is released Tall Tales Vol. 1 on Tuesday, and we’re stoked to be teaming up with Gregg for a new PropertyOfZack Track-By-Track feature. Check out the meaning behind each track on Tall Tales Vol. 1 below!
Tall Tales Vol.1
Tall Tales Vol.1 combines story telling and personal experiences to deliver a fun, compelling, and sometimes dark, multi genre musical experience. From a production standpoint the entire album was DIY, and for the most part I’m playing all the instruments (with an exception to the horns). Because most of the songs are about stories I could go on and on about them, but for the sake of time I thought I would sum them all up for you on this track by track. Thank you for reading and enjoy! - Gregg
Beginning the journey; Arranged primarily to elicit the feeling of complete immersion, “I Know” acts as the overture as well as a portal into the Tall Tales world. Covering a wide range of dynamics, “I Know” introduces the listener to many of the musical and lyrical themes that can be found throughout the album. From a story telling prospective, “I Know” focuses but is not confined to a conceptual idea/story I’ve been developing for some time now titled: “Daniel’s Favor” (I plan on elaborating and expanding on these ideas more thoroughly in the future). In a nutshell “I Know” is about finding someone that you’ve lost and understanding that the knowledge, that you know nothing, is in the end knowing something quite profound.
This is a song that deals primarily with religion, death and trying to understand my own purpose in life. Written shortly after the passing of my great grandmother, “Bayonet” is about finding your place in the world, and being able to make the decisions to get to that place on your own. Structurally it’s short and constantly building, It’s broken up into three sections that don’t repeat themselves. In comparison to the opening track “I Know”, “Bayonet” is much more minimal in design, thus creating a strong point of contrast and setting the tone for track to track dynamics for the remainder of the album.
The Hanged Man
"The Hanged Man" is an up-beat, true story of an interaction I had with a psychic while visiting in East Palestine Ohio. During my reading I was dealt The Hanged Man card multiple times. This along with a few eerily precise predictions turned out to be the beginning of an interesting and somewhat painful journey. The Hanged Man card represents being at a crossroads - one with only two options i.e. in or out, up or down, yes or no. "You may find yourself very much wanting to do something but having no idea what it is or how to do it."
"Say" is the product of a temporary realization, an observation about the fortune of existence. While temporarily sedated under the influence of a questionably legal potpourri, I felt thankful to be alive. My normally depressed, cynical self was washed away and I decided to write something with a little more pop. I based the minimal production style of this song on some Hall & Oates recordings and plan to put together some more material like this in the future.
American Gospel (Gregg Dellarocca of The Republic of Wolves) has released a new music video for “Bayonet.” Watch it below by clicking “Read More.”
American Gospel (Gregg Dellarocca of The Republic of Wolves) has released a new song called “Bayonet.” Stream it below by clicking “Read More.”
The Republic Of Wolves singer/guitarist, Gregg DellaRocca, will be releasing a new album via his American Gospel moniker on May 15th! The album is titled Tall Tales Vol. 1 and you can check out the artwork and track listing for it below by clicking “Read More.”