Bare Essential Recording
I’ve always thought Rochester singer-songwriter and producer extraordinaire Mikey James sounded a bit like Dylan, the way he pulled his vowels out like taffy. And I think that theory has been proven on James’ latest single “Keeping On,” released on June 8. It’s a fun and bawdy little ditty with lots of pop get-up-and-go. And thanks to the “Green Bullet” mic treatment he’s snuck into the vocals, there is a hefty helping of vintage vibes, threatening to overflow.
On “Keeping On”, James cruises so fluidly in the pocket it’s as if the tune is playing him. The beat chops steadily ahead, more organically than on previous endeavors with bands including Longwave and The Mercies, or the eclectic, electric production work he’s done with The Demos.
The lyrical humor resembles a well-placed smirk, in keeping with James’s M.O. — to leave ‘em guessing, laughing all the while at what he has to say. This single was recorded and mixed by James at Bare Essential Recording in Perinton and mastered by David Glasser. James does most of the guitar work and plays the drums, while the supplemental lineup of electric guitarist Anthony Kuhn, upright bassist Kyle Vock, upright bass, and trombonist Evan Dobbins plugs ahead in the supporting role. This is easily some of James’s best work-to-date.
Frank De Blase is CITY's music writer. He can be reached at email@example.com.