Offered with a rough-hewn, acoustic grace, Damian Joyce’s paean to the Big Apple unfolds with a warm confidentiality. But the beginning? Pure Keith Emerson.
The co-founding keys man from Emerson Lake and Palmer is featured on a classically inspired introduction, setting an atmosphere of romantic stoicism for everything that follows. Greg Lake, of course, once made similar kinds of folky contributions in the heady days of prog-rock prominence back in the 1970s — think “Lucky Man” — and Emerson worked similar oddhanded magic.
Seems after hearing Joyce’s stripped-down, very writerly pieces — the singer-composer is also a published author, having released the novel The Dreamer’s Road [Part One last year -- Emerson insisted on making a contribution. "When You're Around," the lead single from Joyce's new 13-track album Raw, is the happy result.
Raw was produced by Brian Kehew, a touring musician with the Who and former co-producer for Fiona Apple. The song, and this album, also feature contributions from drummer Chris Jago and bassist Joel Gottschalk.
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