Romain Gutsy – When Leonard Met Dolly | Energy and Rhythm
Romain Gutsy is a French singer and songwriter known for being an excellent instrumentalist too. He started his career in the 90s and since then, his music has evolved so much.
His music is rich in the country, folk, and blues undertones. So, his recently released album is not an exception either. With all the richness that his music is usually instilled, When Leonard Met Dolly feels amazing to listen to. It is quite a delight for those who love blues, folk, and country genres. Each song feels like a vibrant and energetic mix of all the elements that any good music contains. The songs are intense too, with deep meanings hidden in the lines, and sometimes in the tunes themselves. The music in When Leonard Met Dolly is quite complex, as you have to listen to the album multiple times to truly understand and perceive its richness and fineness.
Every song comes with its own flavours and layers to explore. None of the tracks feels boring or common. Each track, as mentioned before, is vibrant. Whatever be the flavour that rises to the surface, one feeling remains constant, and that is joy. Each track, with its delightful nuances and excellent tunes and marvellous beats, feels joyful to listen to. You feel suddenly uplifted, as if, by listening to the whole album. There are songs that are catchy too. But mostly, the tracks demand to be felt and experienced, slowly. As the songs are complex and not easily perceivable, you need to give them good time to properly absorb their fineness.
Romain Gutsy does a great job of bringing together all the rich elements and making something that feels as good as When Leonard Met Dolly. The music in this album is certainly not everyone’s cup of tea ‘cause it is a fine piece of art. Anything that is richly artistic needs a good perceiver. And when it comes to When Leonard Met Dolly, you surely need to have an ear for excellent music.
Excellent work has been done on the instruments. With a nice variety and versatility, the album becomes quite instrumental and that is one of the reasons for its greatness. Moreover, the vocals too, feel amazing. Nothing feels unnecessary. The album has many elements of surprise that will keep you hooked and entertained. But whatever it might be, you would love the energy and rhythm of it.
When it comes to production, there couldn’t have been a better one. When Leonard Met Dolly feels well produced, and in fact, the end product seems so good that you won’t like it any other way. A great album indeed!
1. What inspired you to create “When Leonard Met Dolly”?
Many things inspired me. First, the singers that I love and that are references to several of the songs of the album: Leonard Cohen, Dolly Parton, Cat Stevens, Bob Dylan, and even Lou Rawls if you listen well, and of course many others that influenced what we did. Then, and in fact first and foremost (I know I already said first before…, well, there are several first), life is my inspiration, and while it might seem a cliché, others are my source of inspiration. It’s people who give me the want to communicate to them. And more concretely, I wanted to make an album that was not rooted in time. I did not try to stick to a specific genre and a specific period of time, and while it might seem a bit “vintage”, it’s in fact just music as it comes, fluently, recklessly.
2. Which songs from the album are the dearest to you or your favourite and why?
Well, I like all of them, of course, but I have a special crush for “She Is Dolly”. It might be one of the most classical, the simplest also, but for me it’s a genuine homage to Dolly Parton that comes from my heart, with only love and fun in mind.
3. Which musicians do you look up to? Who are your role models?
I don’t have any role models. Why should I have one? Or I have 100 role models! I sincerely admire a lot of musicians and songwriters, because they are the biggest heroes of this planet, bringing aesthetics, strength and virtues to the world. But we are all different, even when we copy each other.
4. Define your music.
That’s an insane question for me, as this is the very stumbling block of my personal understanding of my own music. When I finish a song, the first thing I do is to ask some friends, and musicians, what kind of genre the song is. Is it folk, country, rock, folk-rock, Californian, etc.? And I’m not kidding: I am not able to find out by myself, while I know very well when it’s not my music. So the best to describe my music is to listen what others say. As far as I’m concerned, I try to do good music. Since a friend of mine, classical pianist Cyprien Katsaris, told me one day, after I told him that I was not playing “great music”, as we say in French for classical music (grande musique): “There is no ‘great music’, there is good or bad music”. So I try to create good music, that will please the heart and the ears of my fellow human beings.
5. What according to you is the biggest responsibility as a musician or an artist?
Professionally, it’s to give the best of oneself, and to work hard for giving a good artistic product to people. Then, as every artist is a kind of public figure, setting the good example is important. That does not mean to not be oneself, or to be “acceptable”. But it definitely means to think of the messages you send. Will it help others, or will it confuse them and make them unhappy? That is the question to ask yourself, and of course to answer in a positive way.
6. What is next for Romain Gutsy?
I have two ongoing projects, one is a French album, and one is an album with the Russian soprano opera singer Svetlana Kasyan. I’d like to release both in 2022, or maybe beginning of 2023. And in the meantime, it’s possible that I release two or three singles if I’m in a good mood!