‘Denver’ by Royce DeZorzi has that easy folk guitar feel as it opens and slides effortlessly into bluegrass phrases filled with rocking chair swank that makes you feel like enjoying a summer night on your porch with a glass of wine. I could listen to music like this all night and feel like the world stopped for just long enough to give me time to enjoy it.
Review by Jacqueline Jax
Royce DeZorzi’s Album Denver Pays Homage to His Adoptive State
Step into the mind of an Americana artist, and what you’ll see is the horizon of the West coast and the illustrious Mountain state terrains that evoke chords balancing between bluegrass and folk.
Royce DeZorzi’s music paints an image of those same sonic landscapes. On his upcoming album, Denver, he nods to the mountain city where he shaped his sound while also paying homage in parting, as he soon relocates to Nashville, TN.
“I’ve ended up on the outside looking in from a lot of past relationships, friendships, and musical partnerships. During recording, I found myself in the right space to sit down and reflect on some things I’ve learned and experienced here,” says DeZorzi, “and, just as importantly, say thank you and goodbye.”
DeZorzi’s journey started near Annapolis, MD, where he grew up in a military family. As a child, the family moved to Augusta, GA. After the passing of his brother Alex, a passionate guitarist, he inherited the instrument, which sat in a closet for a year before he tried to sell it to a friend. Instead of purchasing the guitar, the friend showed DeZorzi how to play, and he was hooked.
Shortly thereafter, DeZorzi traveled to Western Colorado, spending the next several years working on farms and playing solo in forgotten corners of the American Southwest.
After relocating to Denver in 2017, solo acoustic compositions took a back seat to electronic-leaning group improvisations, resulting in the New Freedom Movement LP and VISIONS (2020). These experimental offerings highlight DeZorzi’s sensibilities as a band leader and electric guitarist. Now, as a solo artist, he’s going back to the basics and exploring the vulnerabilities of acoustic guitar.
“I guess that was where I had started on the guitar and couldn’t escape it. I fell in love with playing solo, where you get the space to compose orchestrally and improvise freely,” explains DeZorzi. “But the fingerpicking thing always felt a little old-timey to me, and for a few years I put the acoustic down.”
The album’s title track explores traditional folk and blues idioms through DeZorzi’s unique style, and his emotive playing lets listeners interpret its meaning. No vocals — simply the echoing catharsis of DeZorzi’s solitude. Denver is a snapshot of the city he’s called home, weaving threads of his own experience into the tapestry of the plains, mountains, and sunsets that dance across the Front Range.
“There’s nowhere to hide in this kind of music; it’s very stripped down,” says DeZorzi, “and for me, it always evokes the same relaxing space.”
The voyage to Nashville will be Royce DeZorzi’s next story. He is planning a US tour in support of the album, which is set to be released on September 1st.
By Gabby Cast
Preview a track from the album:
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