With overtones of Roy Orbison and that iconic, reverberating production of the sixties, King Leg (“aka” Bryan Joyce) puts his modern spin on a classic sound, filling the void in the current musical climate left by Orbison, Elvis and their contemporaries in the days where imagination and boldness blurred the lines between country and rock ’n roll.
And an assist from Dwight Yoakam doesn’t hurt one bit.
Yoakam produced “Wanted” with Chris Lord-Alge (who also co-produced the album Meet King Leg) and co-directed the video for the single with Gregory Alosio. For Joyce, the opportunity to collaborate with Yoakam was, simply put, a dream come true.
“It’s been a truly amazing honor working with Dwight,” Joyce told CMT.com.
“He has elevated my musical experience in every way. As a producer, he’s helped bring my songs to life in ways I didn’t know was possible. I enjoy learning from him – through his process of working in the studio, being open to the mysterious possibilities of music, yet maintaining focus and attention, I see how a song can yield beautiful and unexpected results.”
The way the song came to Joyce is just as unexpected as the marvelous end result.
“I was living in Nashville at the time and on this particular evening, there were some protests occurring,” Joyce said.
“The protesters had shut down the interstate and they then began moving through our neighborhood in East Nashville. With the thought of the unrest happening just down the road, I picked up the guitar and this song came out as my heart’s yearning for peace. It was one of the few times a song appeared front-to-finish in the flash of a moment.”
The journey to this moment in his career almost seems just as mystical and cosmic for Joyce, who knew very early on that music was his path.
“When I was in 2nd grade, I would carry a comb in my back pocket so I could try to do my hair like Elvis,” he said.
“By the time I discovered the Beatles a couple of years later, I knew I wanted to do music and I hadn’t even picked up a guitar yet. In my 20’s, I was still discovering my voice by emulating Roy Orbison and Slim Whitman and found what I felt was a new life to my singing. Since finding my voice, I feel like my songwriting has been influenced by it in a way, too.”
Perhaps one of the more rewarding experiences of his artistry is the connection to his audience through the stories he shares.
“It’s been a real humbling experience hearing how others relate to my songs, and a surprise to find out that in some ways they tell the stories of other people’s lives,” he said.
“Art is beautiful in the way it can provide human reflection where others can find a way to relate their experiences.”
Expect more music from King Leg in the near future. His debut album Meet King Leg is currently available. And if you’re looking to catch him live, plan a visit to Stagecoach Music Festival on Sunday, April 28, where he’ll be performing.