McKinley James 'Still Standing By'

July 17, 2021

McKinley James set to Release ' Still Standing By'

– by Tommy Womack

The first thing you notice about McKinley James’ extraordinary new EP Still Standing By is the serious mix of Motown soul and blues-based guitar playing. Still Standing By is a six-song feast. Produced by The Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach at his Easy Eye Sound studios in Nashville, it’s soul music with a dash of blues growl, all written by

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 McKinley himself (with Patrick Sweany on “Whatever It Takes [For Love]).

Born and raised in Webster, New York, not far from Rochester, James moved to Nashville with his family not even five years ago. They have always been a musical bunch. His father, former Los Straitjacket and J.D. McPherson drummer Jason Smay, plays with him in his band. And in his younger days, McKinley took a liking to the Hammond organ they had in the house, now manned by trio 3rd member Austin John Doody. He’s a living example of why every guitarist should start with keyboard; because he learned so much about theory and craft, when he finally moved over the foundation was laid for him to far surpass your average guitar hero, playing simple bar chords punctuated with bits of wheedly wee.

James is incandescently stoked about the July 23rd release of Still Standing By, and given the music on it, he should be. So where does he see himself a year from now? “On the road, taking this thing even further,” he enthuses. “Everyone’s just so happy, and the band is ready to get out there. We’re just ready to go and ride it out. And I hope people dig the record.” Odds are they will.

Get more information and details to pick up the album, see tour dates and more at

Tune into 'Hot off the Press' Monday - Friday 10 am PST to hear McKinley James and his new single 'Clear Skies' on Racketeer Radio KFQX


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