CD: A Delicate Joy
Artist: David Nevue

In one of their most beloved songs, The Beatles sang of “a long and winding road” which serves as an appropriate analogy for the path David Nevue has taken in his creative journey. In contrast to many of the classically trained solo pianists who are currently popular, David’s talent has not evolved from years of formal study. Actually, his entrance into artistic expression came as an actor rather than a musician – an endeavor he pursued for a number of years. However, as he began to blossom musically, his biggest influences came from the progressive rock of the 1980’s with groups like Pink Floyd, Rush, Jethro Tull, and Queen, and he performed in rock bands on electric piano and synthesizer. However, upon hearing the impressionistic piano music of George Winston while in college, David was taken by what he heard and began to move in that direction. Although other music he enjoys is that of composers such as Chopin, Debussy and Ravel, what David calls “the moody stuff.” In fact, his sound on the piano has been described as “somewhere between Chopin and George Winston.”



While musical influences have played a part in the development of his style, David shares that: “the biggest influence on my music is simply living,” with the foundation of his life being his deep spirituality and involvement with the church. He sees his talents as a gift from God and feels a responsibility to use his music to share that with the world. In his words, “My music is the soundtrack of my life and my faith.” Although David’s music is instrumental, this bedrock of spiritual affinity is undoubtedly one of the factors that have created such resonance in so many listeners over the years.


His approach to music composition is more inspirational than intellectual, and he likens it to a potter starting with a lump of clay and gradually shaping it into a work of art. The music he has crafted on his latest release, “A Delicate Joy” is a testament to the aforementioned inspiration and artistic gift he has been given. As the title implies, the focus of the CD is on joy and pausing to experience it in this fast paced world. Watching his two children growing up has made him acutely aware of the passage of time and how important it is to appreciate the precious moments we have. I agree with his sentiments when he says: “Joy, like Love, is more than a fluffy feeling, it’s something you do. It’s a decision you make and an action you take.”



The title track is appropriately named in that it illuminates a delicateness like sunlight on a spider’s silken web. I appreciated the way he would often pause between phrases to let the composition breathe, and give the listener a brief respite to savor the moment. The second track, “Traveling Light” features an uplifting melody with forward momentum and a wind in your hair feel. Of the fourteen tracks on the album, twelve are originals and two are arrangements. Track three, “Down By the Sally Gardens” is one of the later – a sweet and lovely Irish tune that is one of David’s favorites. By this point in the CD, the listener is likely slipping into a state of pleasant reverie and tuning into the joyousness that is the focal point of the album.



The mood shifts a bit on “Day’s Gone By” and “A Vision In White” eliciting a more wistful air, that highlights the emotional range David brings to his playing and composing. However, the pendulum swings back again on the exuberant “My Happy Dance,” making me aware of how much a simple melody or piece of music can tap into our feeling nature and affect it so profoundly. Other songs that moved me that way and elucidated my emotional spectrum were “Happily Ever After” and “Goodnight Sweet Angel”, both quite different, yet each evocative in it’s own way. The CD draws to a delightful conclusion with the second of the two arrangements entitled “Jesu Joy Canon in D” which David refers to as “a mish-mash of Bach’s Jesu Joy, Pachelbel’s Canon, and my own improvisational riffs.” “A Delicate Joy” is an exquisite collection of solo piano music that is moving, heartfelt, and life affirming, offering a timely and touching reminder to stop and smell the roses.


(As a side note, David has created a solo piano radio station on the internet as well as having written a popular book on marketing your music online.  Click on the links for more info)