Continuing to move forward in his musical endeavors, Jim Fusco released “Those Around Us” in early 2012. This album combines all of the techniques and skills that made “Halfway There” so well-rounded, and also added some great additions. “Those Around Us” is an album like no other Jim released beforehand, and here’s why:
For “Those Around Us”, Jim finally got to put his electric 12-string guitar into effect. His love for the Byrds and Beatles electric 12-string sound lead him to buy this guitar a few years earlier. But, he got it after the primary recording for “Halfway There” was complete. So, “Those Around Us” was his first opportunity to integrate it into his recordings. Jim didn’t just throw this special guitar sound into the mix- he actually used it while writing songs, coming with parts specifically for this guitar. The 12-string electric isn’t for rhythm (strumming) playing. It’s for finger-picking (in the style of Roger McGuinn) and for riffs (more like George Harrison). So, you’ll hear great new sound add a fresh dimension to some songs on “Those Around Us”, notably “Look Around” and “Don’t Give Up”.
Jim also used his new home studio for the first time on this disc and had the advantage of a well-insulated room that allowed for clean sound on each track. This beautiful space (complete with a 58″ TV in case he wanted a break) was completed in early 2011 and became the perfect place to create a new album.
Also used on “Those Around Us” was another new instrument: the lap steel guitar. Even though it’s only used in one song (“Look Around”), it’s another dimension that adds more variety to the music. The last new piece of the sound puzzle is Jim’s sampled Wurlitzer 200A electric piano. The vintage sound of this keyboard (used on tons of hit songs, including “Joy to the World” by Three Dog Night) fit in perfectly with Jim’s natural rock band feel. This is one of Jim’s new favorite tools because it helps to fill-out a recording without being just another guitar thrown in.
Probably the biggest change in the sound is the professional mastering job that Jim got for “Those Around Us”. For the first time on a solo release (Masters of the Universe used a mastering house for their first album to great effect), Jim gave his music to another person to complete. Of course, Jim drove him crazy along the way, going through three or four different rounds of tweaks before getting the finished final product. But, that pursuit of perfection is what sets “Those Around Us” apart from his previous efforts.
Watch Jim perform “Good Enough” live from the
“Those Around Us” CD Release Party below!
Jim went back to a method he used on “My Other Half” and “What About Today?” by having four songs run together at the beginning of the album. As you’ll hear, this is done to great effect, as each thought runs into the next. It’s something Jim has loved in albums from the Moody Blues to the Beach Boys.
“Those Around Us” is a departure from Jim’s normal subject matter. He started to notice that he was writing songs not about himself, but about the people he cared about. He would take their personality traits and want to further explore their nuances.
The new approach to recording, instrumentation, sound mastering, and even lyric writing make “Those Around Us” a great addition to the Jim Fusco catalog and another step forward in his music career.