Though fewer and farther between these days, the piano man is a near mythological figure in American society– they lift our spirits as we lift our glasses, offering a respite from the day to day woes of the world. Brooklyn based singer/songwriter Chris Blacker raised the money to record his debut pop/rock LP, The Endless Chase, through frequent stints at the renowned Manhattan piano bar, Uncle Charlie’s.
The album, which comes out on November 4th, is a reflection of Blacker’s life since moving from the west coast to the Big Apple in 2010. On the record, as in life, and his role as a piano man, he performs a careful balancing act between the joys and challenges of big city living, pessimism and hope, introspection and pure entertainment.
Today, Elmore is premiering “The Day I Hit The Ground,” a single from the upcoming album. “[It] was conceived shortly after I moved to New York City,” Blacker recalls, “though it was not completed until several years later. The catalyst for the song was an unforeseen expense that put me in dire financial straits. At the same time, I was deeply caught up in the excitement and optimism of my early days living here. I think that tension is reflected in the interplay between the lively music and the pensive lyrics. It’s like that moment when you’re still at the party dancing and having a good time, but you know you’re only doing it because you don’t want to face reality.”
The tune reflects Blacker’s experience in cabaret and musical theater, with vampy piano and embellishments of horns. He recruited a large cast of musicians and vocalists, which further adds a rich, orchestral sound to the production, mimicking the hustle and bustle of the city. Blacker’s voice plays the narrative above the swirl of instrumentation and funky bassline– an emotive croon that imbues hope and wit into the constant contradictions; “One minute I’m on solid ground feeling like I’m safe and sound. Then I look down and it’s not there, turns out I tried to walk on air.”
Blacker will play an album release show at Rockwood Music Hall, Stage Two on November 2nd. Preorder The Endless Chase, out November 4th, here, head to his website for more info and give “The Day I Hit The Ground” a listen below.