McKinley James Revives the Soul of Blues at The Hangar on May 19th

A Nashville-based Guitarist and Singer-Songwriter Revives the Soul of Blues with Authenticity and Originality

McKinley James emerges as a breath of fresh air in the vast landscape of live blues music. This will not be a pack of middle-aged men butchering “Pride and Joy.” Instead, prepare to be awestruck by McKinley’s genuine passion and prodigious talent when he takes the stage at The Hangar on Friday, May 19th.

Hailing from Nashville, this gifted guitarist and singer-songwriter represents the much-needed infusion of youth and innovation into the genre. McKinley effortlessly weaves together elements of soul, Motown, and searing blues guitar prowess, reminding us that one must study the rich tapestry of music’s past to forge ahead.

At just 21 years old, McKinley James is already a seasoned road warrior, having embarked on a relentless touring schedule long before he could legally operate a vehicle. His experiences span the globe, gracing stages alongside luminaries such as The Mavericks, JD McPherson, Nick Waterhouse, and the Old 97s.

With two impressive records under his belt, McKinley showcases his artistic prowess. “Still Standing By,” a six-song masterpiece, was produced by none other than Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys at his esteemed Easy Eye Sound studios in Nashville. It’s a soulful journey with hints of bluesy grit, all penned by McKinley himself (with collaboration from Patrick Sweany on “Whatever It Takes [For Love]”). In the spring of 2022, he released a thrilling live recording that perfectly captured the raw energy of his performances.

Although born and raised in Webster, New York, just a stone’s throw from Rochester, McKinley James found his true calling in the musical mecca of Nashville when he relocated with his family less than five years ago. A talented lineage flows through his veins as his father, Jason Smay, former drummer of Los Straitjackets and J.D. McPherson, joins him as the rhythmic backbone of the band. Their synergy on stage is nothing short of extraordinary, a testament to their deep musical connection and intuitive understanding.

Mark your calendars for this Friday, May 19th, at 8:00 PM, as McKinley James takes center stage at The Hangar in Troy, NY. Advance tickets are available for $10 or $15 on the day of the show. [Link to Event:]

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