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One man band

blog by Avery Hartmans  • 

Mike James isn’t your typical musician. The Rochester native, who goes by Mikey Jukebox, not only sings, but plays piano, guitar, and drums as well, creating a one-man show that he describes as “running the whole gamut of rock.”

“Perhaps you’ll hear elements of 50s meets 80s, there’s some 90s in there, a 60s vibe sometimes,” James said.  “It’s party music. It’s dance pop.”

James said he was influenced by David Bowie at an early age. “I was always into glam rock. Out of Bowie, I got into Kiss, then T. Rex, then somehow through that I hit a disco phase around ’94,” he said, recalling the disco parties he used to host in the hallways of his high school. “I was always kind of freakish, a little eccentric, but I was also homecoming king and the class clown.” Basically, Mike James was the kid you wanted to hang out with in high school.

The artist doesn’t place his stage style in one specific category, either. “My look is a cross between 90s Brit pop meets 50s leather,” he said.  If given the chance, James noted, he would raid Marlon Brando’s closet from the Guys and Dolls era. “That would probably be pretty badass.”

When dressing for a show, James likes to keep it simple. “I always like to wear a coat. I never was a big t-shirt rocker. I have to wear my Doc Martens, I gotta have those, and a decent pair of jeans.”

But off stage, James is a little bit more preppy. “I have this Lacoste polo that was vintage when I found it in a Salt Lake City thrift store,” he said “There’s something I like about tennis fashion…there’s something nostalgic about it, it’s spiffy.” Dig out your polos and tennis whites - James might be on to something.

Mikey Jukebox will perform with Buffalo bands The Tins and Love Scene on Friday, June 3 at 8 pm at Mohawk place. To find out more about him, visit mikeyjukebox.com.

TAGGED: fashion, mikey jukebox, music

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