Daniel Romano and The Outfit bring experimental folksy sound to The Mansion

The ensemble stopped into Kingston for an intimate show

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Daniel Romano and The Outfit.

With such a wide range of musical endeavours, it’s difficult to keep track of who Daniel Romano is going to perform with at any given time, and from which of his eclectic range of LPs the set list will derive.

On Nov. 9 at 9 p.m., Romano and his backing band, The Outfit, hit The Mansion. Together, they entertained with their original, organic sound.

The Outfit is made up of Daniel’s brother Ian Romano on drums, Julianna Riolino for background vocals, Dave Nardi on rhythm guitar, and Roddy Rossetti on bass. As a result, this group of friends and family share an undeniable connection on stage.

Daniel joked that when they’re on stage performing, his main goal is, “How can I get my brother to mess up?” 

Daniel, Ian, and Riolino hail from Welland, Ontario. They joke that they’ve been playing together since they were born. 

“Yeah, we may as well have grown up together,” Romano said, as Riolino signed a fan’s t-shirt on Romano’s back. 

 The band’s closeness is palpable while they play on stage. Their bond is so warm and recognizable that it has an inviting effect. It seems like as they perform, they’re welcoming the fans into their group to experience the spontaneous and dynamic creative world they’ve built.

Their songs “Modern Pressure”and “What’s To Become of the Meaning of Love” slightly differ from Romano’s earlier experiments in folk and on his Mosey album. His loyal audience, though, remains enraptured by his lyricism and smooth sound.

“My relationship with the audience is this: I’m very grateful,” Romano said, but he added, still, “I try to conceal things.”

 Romano doesn’t like meaning within his music to be too obvious. He leaves it up to the audience to interpret.

Romano’s creative drive has led him to produce eight full-length albums within the last eight years, but he’s still unsure about his future.

“Trajectory in general is difficult. I guess when making music, I try to make whatever I’m working on better than what I’ve already put out.”

His latest album Finally Free—the third released within the space of a yearreceived a positive review in Exclaim!, Paste, and Spill Magazine, who dubbed it the “best album of his career.”

Romano referenced a book by his friend Ian Svenonius, titled Supernatural Strategies For Forming a Rock and Roll Group. He paraphrased the humourously self-deprecating concept that an artist spends their entire career trying to make up for the embarrassment and shame of their first public work. 

“I think there’s definitely some truth to that,” Romano said. “I don’t necessarily think about the first accessible piece of music that represents me, but I’d for sure hate to hear it. 

He says his collaborative record label, You’ve Changed Records, is a safe space for him to develop his experimental sound and continue to grow.

Daniel Romano and The Outfit exude individuality and obvious talent. The smooth twang of his voice gives an old-soul feel, but The Outfit brings a modern edge. Romano’s romantic, nostalgic lyricism continues to evolve throughout each new record, proving his commitment to his craft.


Concert, The Mansion

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