Garth Brooks has been showing a lot of love for up-and-coming songwriter Mitch Rossell.
Rossell's talent and hard work in Nashville's songwriting circle caught the eye of the legendary country singer back in 2014. Three years later, Rossell is celebrating his first-ever album cut and single for "Ask Me How I Know" on Garth's Gunslinger album.
The ladder to success for the Chattanooga native was far from an easy climb. 15 days after graduating from college, Rossell moved to Nashville to chase his dream. In order to afford the move, he sold his '68 Camero that he and his grandfathered restored. Late night gigs at bars like Tootsie's in the Nashville airport sustained him. This left his days open for songwriting.
On a whim, he sent an email to Garth Brooks with songs to consider for the Man Against Machine album. None of Mitch's songs made it on that album. The email, however, did catch Brooks attention, and would open the door for what was to come.
Rossell began touring with Brooks soon after. In July 2016 he released his own album, Raised By The Radio. The album was seeing success within a few short weeks. It charted on Billboard's Heatseeker Albums and Top Country Albums charts.
"This kid is unbelievably talented, Brooks said of Rossell in a radio interview. "He's going to make it in this town whether Garth Brooks is alive or not, because he's here for the right reasons."
Rossell's music is heavily influenced by his East Tennessee upbringing. Songs like the album's title track "Raised By The Radio" and "Mine Was A Backroad" paint a picture of simple life on the outskirts of city limits. His lyrics are care-free, honest and uncomplicated.
Brooks announced he would be releasing "Ask Me How I Know" as a single at a press conference during SXSW in Austin, Texas. A few days later he posted a video congratulating Rossell, which prompted an emotional response.
"I never would have imagined when I moved to Nashville that I'd ever even have the chance to shake Garth Brooks's hand," Rossell says, "nonetheless that he would ever hear a song of mine and then like it. And then cut it. And then release it as a single."
Seven years after moving to Nashville, Rossell is now living the dream. You can still find him opening for Garth on his world tour as well as traveling around to his own shows. Rossell is heading back to play his hometown of Chattanooga on Aug. 18.