Music Matters Magazine is Extremely Thrilled to Talk with Tim Rossi of Blackfoot and to recently see Blackfoot at The Open Chord All Things Music in Knoxville Tennessee. The Guys Came out rocking and didn’t stop. Doing songs like ” Train Train” and “Highway Song” among others off of their Current CD “SOUTHERN NATIVE ” to a packed house.
(MM) Tim What were you doing music wise before you became a member of Blackfoot?
(TR) Before Blackfoot I was touring the country in the Jimmie Van Zant band. Jimmie is the cousin of Ronnie, Donnie and Johnny Van Zant and had a pretty amazing career of his own. I learned a lot from Jimmie and the guys in his band in my time with them. In hindsight playing with Jimmie was a great primer for me, leading up to my joining Blackfoot. Sadly we lost Jimmie to cancer in 2016. He’s up there shooting whiskey with Ronnie now.
(MM) Tim How did it come about you being a member of Blackfoot? I Heard Rickey himself hand picked you all to carry on the Blackfoot name is this true? I am Sure its an honor to be carrying on the Blackfoot legacy.
(TR) Shortly after getting off the road with the JVZ band, Rickey Medlocke and his longtime producer / manager Al Nalli started mentoring me and not long after that, they and our now manager Eric liebl came up with the idea for this new version of Blackfoot and asked me to be a part of it, which I gladly accepted. And It’s an honor and a privilege to carry on the Blackfoot name, and a responsibility I take very seriously. To keep the classic catalog of songs alive for the fans but also to create a new generation of fans for blackfoot through all this great new music that we’re coming forward with. And yes Rickey hand-picked everybody that are in Blackfoot, as well as being the Bands producer and mentor. Most people don’t realize how heavily involved Rickey is with Blackfoot. But not a day goes by that he’s not in the studio with us, or if we’re in different cities he’s FaceTiming us or calling us on the phone. That being said, although he’s so involved in everything, he lets us be ourselves and wants us to blaze our own Trail. But we like to get his feedback and approval on everything we do. He’s the unequivocal chief of the tribe and we all look up to him and learn from him on a constant basis.
(MM) Your first CD under Blackfoot ” Southern Native” is a Fantastic CD! How long did it take to make? Where was it made? and who wrote the songs? (or was it a joint Effort?)
(TR) Thank you so much! We’re really proud of the Southern native CD. It was a labor of love and a lot of hard work went into it. From start to finish it took us probably a year to write, record, mix, and master. That being said, with Rickey’s touring schedule with Lynyrd Skynyrd and Blackfoot’s touring schedule, it didn’t provide us with a lot of time to be all together in the studio to work on the record. But we persisted and even with the difficult scheduling, managed to get the album in by the deadline from our label. Rickey had some great songs that we put on Southern native, Ohio and whiskey train were covers of classics. Another song, Take Me Home, was written by Marlon Young of Kid Rock’s Twisted Brown trucker band and brought to our attention by Stacy Michelle also of Kid Rock’s band. Which Stacy also did some bad ass vocals on Southern native. And everything else we co-wrote from scratch with Rickey. The southern native CD was recorded at Studio Sea in Fort Myers Florida which is a great Studio that’s owned by Rickey. Which I highly recommend to anyone that wants to record in an awesome Studio smack dab in the middle of the paradise that is Southwest Florida.
(MM) What’s your favorite song to play live off Southern Native? and Why?
(TR) There are two songs from the southern native CD that we always seem to include in the set, which are “southern native” and “need my ride”. Not only are they crowd favorites but they are also very challenging and fun songs to play live.
(MM) What’s your most memorable moment on stage so far playing with Blackfoot?
(TR) Well there’s so many of them I’ll try my best to narrow it down to just a few. First off, usually at the end of every year when Lynyrd Skynyrd’s schedule lightens up, Rickey comes out and plays a few shows with us. And to be able to play all those classic Blackfoot songs as well as brand new songs off of the Southern native CD that we co-wrote with Rickey, is a pretty special experience for myself and the band as well as the audience. Another thing that comes to mind is that in the set I do an unaccompanied guitar solo and at the end I play the Star Spangled Banner and at shows such as opening for Lynyrd Skynyrd recently in Tampa Florida, for a sold-out crowd of 30,000 people, for all of them to stand up and sing along as I play such a meaningful song to our country is a pretty amazing feeling!
(MM) Are you all working on any new music? and if so any idea when a new CD will be ready?
(TR) Yes, we are in the middle of recording a new album. We’ve got 25 plus songs written and we’ve tracked about 11 or 12 and are continuing to record more and we’ll eventually pick 10 or so for release. Once again with Skynyrd and Blackfoot being so busy on the road, the scheduling isn’t easy, but we’re getting it done. And the band is really excited about the new material and how the tracks are turning out with Rickey at the producers helm. And it’s gonna be another really big step forward in the evolution of a very modern incarnation of Blackfoot. The label is asking for a Feb release although we’d love to get it out sooner.
(MM) You got to do select dates with Lynyrd Skynyrd on their farewell tour. How cool! How did that go?
(TR) The shows with Skynyrd so far have been amazing! We’re really blessed that the guys in Skynyrd and their crew and management have been so supportive of us and want us involved in their last of the streets survivors tour. Initially we played the first two shows in West Palm Beach and Tampa. And it was a pretty special thing to be the first band to kick off the tour! As of now we’re playing select cities with Skynyrd so if you hear they’re coming to your town, keep an eye out for us on the bill. The next one on the calendar I think is Skynyrd, ZZ Top, 38 Special and Blackfoot in Toronto Canada. So look out Canada! Here we come!
(MM) You like to post foodie pics on your facebook page. Traveling I am sure you have ate most everything. But what’s your favorite thing to eat while on the road? and any reason why? and The Strangest thing?
(TR) Well there’s two sides to the coin when it comes to eating on the road. One side is the boring and typical aspect that to some extent you’re eating at chain restaurants where the menu is the same everywhere you go all over the country and even in other countries. But the flip side of the coin, which is much more interesting, is eating foods that are more unique to the region that you’re in. For example every time we play in Baltimore I always have the crab cakes. Cliched? Maybe. But I’d never had crab cakes before I went to Baltimore and they are really good! Another funny example of both sides of the coin is when we went to the UK, the first place we stopped, cuz some of the guys were hungry, was a McDonald’s in London. But we made damn sure the next morning we had a proper English breakfast. Which might answer the question of the funkiest thing that I’ve eaten on the road, which was the blood sausage that came with the English breakfast! I’ve eaten some interesting things like snake, cow’s tongue and different stuff like that, that were pretty good, but the blood sausage was not entirely enjoyable. Let’s just say it’s an acquired taste. LOL
Anyways before we wrap it up I just wanted to say thank you to all the Blackfoot fans worldwide that have supported the band through thick and thin. You can buy the southern native CD on Amazon, iTunes and most other Outlets where everyone buys their music. And you can find tour dates, links to our videos from Southern native and merchandise on Blackfootband.com and follow us on our Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube social media sites to keep up on what the band is up to up on the stage and behind the scenes.
Thank you so much Angela and Music Matters!
Thanks So Much to Tim for taking time out of his Very busy schedule to talk with us here at Music Matters Magazine. We Look forward to seeing you again and Hearing New Blackfoot Music! Be sure to catch Blackfoot on Tour this year. They are Fantastic live!
Music Matters Magazine