Long Beach Calling
Once again, Mike Jacoby has gone solo; producing, recording and mixing his newest record, Long Beach Calling. Long Beach Calling is the follow up to 2016’s NorthEastSouthWest and 2012’s The Big 5-0. Going solo on all three albums was inspired by the straightforward production style of Todd Snider, and with the exception of bringing in Grammy Award-winning mastering engineer, Gavin Lurssen, Jacoby accomplishes an organic sound without sacrificing his vision for the music.
NESW was a record that was more focused on the acoustic guitar. Jacoby is a skilled guitarist and with, Long Beach Calling, he shows off this skill by putting more focus on electric guitar. “I wanted an album that was more electric and gritty than the last one,” he explained. “And I think I accomplished a better mix with this album.” Although his writing is rooted in the Americana vein, his undying love for rock ‘n’ roll is showcased throughout the album. Jacoby also plays most of the instruments on the album but brought in two guests—Ann DeJarnett on violin and Art Bailey Jr. on piano.
Known for his songwriting, Jacoby has the ability to switch from serious heartbreak songs to hilarious, goofy songs seamlessly. As one critic wrote, “Technological minimalism and wizardry aside, it’s Jacoby’s clever narrative woven throughout, fully of wry humor, exasperation, resolve, and deprecation, that really holds your attention long after the music has set the hook.” (Rochester City News)
Kicking it off with the title track, “Long Beach Calling” Jacoby explains his homage, “I wanted an Americana version of The Clash’s “London Calling” –one that pays tribute to the beautiful town of Long Beach,” he said. “The song is admittedly a little tongue-in-cheek, but us Long Beach residents have a pretty good sense of humor. Musically, I can hear echoes of LC, but it has its own propulsion.”
“Pine Box” is a song that many people respond to and that Jacoby said NEEDED to be on the album. “It almost wrote itself and the arrangement came clear and easy. My own offbeat take on the inevitable. And I had a lot of fun doing the background vocals.”
“Your Love Song” is a classic country song about divorce with humor injected into it. Jacoby references the law firm of “Howard, Howard, Fine”….who we all know as “The Three Stooges”. “Know Right Away” is a rock ballad with an instrumental build-up… “I tried to get a Paul Buckmaster-type of string section at the end,” Jacoby quipped.
“Play Like Richards” is a straight-up rock and roller that was inspired by the Maroon 5 song, “Move Like Jagger”. It is a concise and accurate history of the Rolling Stones – all in 3 minutes! “As much as I love Mick, I would prefer to pay like Richards!” he exclaimed. “I was also proud to sneak “Charlie’s good tonight” into the bridge…cause Charlie’s great!”
The album ‘officially’ ends with the song, “Long Live The King”…but not quite! Because 14 seconds after “King”, Jacoby throws in a bonus song called, “Yes, But.” “Why a bonus song?” Jacoby asks. “Because London Calling had a bonus song! “Train in Vain” in case you’d forgotten. And why 14 seconds? Because that’s the amount of time between “The End” and “Her Majesty” on side two of Abbey Road.”
A seasoned performer, Jacoby performed and recorded with the Alt-country band, Haymaker for 10 years before striking out on his own. His solo career allowed him to find his voice and Jacoby excels at bringing a fresh and unique perspective into the story of the song. “I’m better able to get to the meaning of the song more efficiently now,” he admits. “Ideas are clearer—lyrical paths are more discernable.”
Long Beach Calling is yet another fantastic collection of songs put together by Mike Jacoby. “Homages to The Clash and Elvis impersonators, and in-between there are tales of perseverance and hope; fractured relationships; death; super-models; BBQ pits and a concise and accurate history of the Rolling Stones,” he describes. “What else would you want in an album?”