If Donice Morace has made one thing clear over the course of two album releases, it’s that he has an undying love for traditional country music instrumentation and storytelling. He’s taken the sound of steel guitar and fiddles to both great chart success and packed dancehalls as he’s stayed true to his cowboy-country roots.
Though it was more than three years since the release of his debut album, Morace showed no signs of rust and picked up right where he left off with his sophomore effort, This Life I Love. Weaving his way through eight love, cowboy and dancehall tunes, Morace captures everyday life in his native Texas and presents it to the masses.
We caught up with Morace to talk all about This Life I Love, as well as chart success, hitting the road, getting started on new music and more!
Pro Country: The last time we talked, you had just released your debut full-length album, Long Live the Cowboy. In the time since, you released “Through the Jukebox,” as a single, which has since earned well over 400,000 streams on Spotify alone and landed in the top 40 on the Texas Country Music Chart’s Top 200 Songs of 2020. What was it like for you to see the song reach those heights and have the life it has had?
Donice Morace: It really blew me away. I knew the song was strong when we recorded it, but I had no idea it would turn out to be my biggest radio single to date. It just makes you wanna dance!
PC: It was over three years between the release of Long Live the Cowboy and your 2022 single “One Drink In.” After that kind of layoff, how much were you looking forward to releasing music again and showing your fans what you had been working on?
DM: I was super anxious to get some more music out. I felt like I had set the bar pretty high and wanted to top it.
PC: “One Drink In” serves as the lead single to your new album, This Life I Love. What went into the decision to have “One Drink In” serve as the introduction and lead single from the album?
DM: Well we knew it was going to be a single, and it really lent itself well to being the first part of a trilogy of songs telling a story about a typical couple. “One Drink In” really captures that infatuation phase.
PC: “One Drink In” became a top 15 hit at Texas radio, and your current single, “Goin’ Goin’,” is approaching the top 20 as well. How encouraging has the support and success at radio been in the leadup to the album’s release?
DM: I think it’s huge! They’ve been so successful in Texas that it’s bleeding into national radio, and I’ve never had that before.
PC: “This Life I Love” is a song you wrote with Mike McQuerry. What was it about the song that you felt encapsulated the album and drew you to have it serve as the title track?
DM: Approaching every project, I like to find a way to tip my hat to the “cowboy way of life.” I think there’s probably a little cowboy in everyone, but it’s not just how you dress, it’s a noble code cowboys live by. And I also think today’s world could use a little more of that cowboy code.
PC: As lovers of heartbreak songs, “Wait Til I’m Gone” is our favorite song on This Life I Love, and was written by Mark Nesler, Tony Martin and Tom Shapiro. Can you talk about hearing the song for the first time and what drew you to cut it?
DM: It just came across as real. Not everything’s a tailgate party, and heartache is a huge part of life. And they captured that struggle of how difficult it can be to let go.
PC: “What I’m Tonkin’” is a fun honky tonk song that you wrote with hit songwriters Mark Nesler and Tony Martin. Can you take us in the room and talk about how the song came together?
DM: Yeah, we had fun writing that one. You know coming up through the dancehalls, you see certain characters in every venue. There’s the beautiful barrel racers, the shot bullies, guys that consider themselves dancehall doctors, and that loud drunk group over on the side taking selfies [laughs]. We thought it would be fun to put them all in a song together.
PC: What do you hope listeners take away from This Life I Love after listening all the way through?
DM: I want people to come away realizing that you can still record a fresh take on traditional country music. Fiddle and steel guitar still belong in country music, it’s what separates our genre.
PC: Your tour schedule is already filling up into the summer months. How much are you looking forward to staying active on the road and bringing This Life I Love to the fans?
DM: Those live shows are our lifeline. I can’t tell you how excited I am to take our music on the road and feed off of those crowds.
PC: Along with promoting This Life I Love, what do you have planned for 2023?
DM: We’re already putting together another album. We’re still putting songs together, but plan on going in the studio in a couple of months.
*Donice’s music is featured on The Best of Pro Country playlist!*
Leave a Reply