William Moretti and his Denver Boot work moody magic

Close to the heart
By CHRIS CONTI  |  June 19, 2012

KICKIN’ IT Moretti (center) and a coupla Boots.

Best bet of the week on the live circuit goes down on Saturday when the Denver Boot headlines a CD release party for their debut, 6 to 9, 7 . . . 12. Singer-songwriter (and guitar/banjo/ harmonica man) William Moretti is the creative force behind the band, which he bills as "moody folk with a touch of country picking, and hold the phony accent." This album is pretty darn special from start to bonus track finish. Pick up a copy (or download) at cdbaby.com right now.

Moretti handed over a copy of the new disc last week during our music awards bash at the Met, where the Denver Boot was nominated for Best Roots Act (and finished a close second to the Sugar Honey Iced Tea). Similar to work by kindred locals Brown Bird and Joe Fletcher, 6 to 9, 7 . . . 12 is another must-hear collection of indie-folk/roots/blues/Americana. A slew of friends chipped in, including the sharp rhythm section of John Viveiros (upright bass) and Sean Brown (drums), who gets the gallop going on the opener "I Disagree." Violinist Diane O'Connor and go-to slide guitarist Mike Samos are a perfect fit for Moretti across the album, notably on "Sensible Man," where he laments, "Left you amongst the wolves in sheep's clothing/I did my best to warn you." Things get cooking on the feisty personal favorite "Cold Water," where Moretti heats up: "If I'd treat you better would it have changed today? You made up your mind, don't tease that you will stay/It's just fool's gold." (And check out Brown Student Radio — bsrlive.com — for an excellent Denver Boot duo set recorded last week with Moretti and O'Connor.)

Moretti will be joined onstage by the official Denver Boot lineup: John Frost (banjo), Amato Zinno (upright bass), Tony Nimmo (drums), and O'Connor. The CD release show also serves as a birthday party for Moretti, so buy him and the Boot a drink or three. We caught up via email earlier this week.

BORN AND RAISED IN RI? DO YOU COME FROM A MUSICAL FAMILY BACKGROUND? I was born and raised in Cranston, was a runaway by 17 . . . but always in the Rhode Island area. My mother played piano, and my father Bill and uncle Mark were both rock 'n' roll musicians in the late '70s, best known for their original band High Voltage. My parents became born-again Christians when I was 11 and I never really took to that mentality. Eventually it became one of the main causes for leaving home.

HOW DID YOU INITIALLY GET INTO WRITING COUNTRY-FOLK STYLE SONGS? I never sat down and thought, "Ok, I'm gonna write a country-folk song now." It came from the need to write something I really meant and not something that just sounded good and made you want to dance. I spent my early twenties writing lots of songs trying to find my voice, and continue to do so.

IS THERE ANY PARTICULAR ASPECT THAT DIFFERENTIATES THE DENVER BOOT'S SOUND FROM OTHER FOLK BANDS? I feel like we have the ability to play very soft, slow, and quiet, then loud and danceable. We have a lot of tempo/groove changes and such. I feel like many folk artists stay with three or four chord changes and one tempo per song. We do not.

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