New Release Spotlight
by Jaime Ingle
City Scrapes and The Haunted American Jukebox
If the streets of Manhattan are still a melting pot, then Michael Beatty has created yet another harmonious, ear-delicious blend of songs that speaks to the soul with his soon to be released album, City Scrapes.
Several years in the making, the album features the singer/songwriter vibe of the 1960s and 1970s, while “remaining organic without being overproduced,” explains Michael, who has made the Big Apple his home for the past decade. The streets of Hell’s Kitchen, Times Square and Alphabet City, among others, provided the inspiration for songs such as “When You’re Gone” and the title track “City Scrapes.
“It doesn’t have any pretension, it is what it is...a guy with some stories to tell, his piano, and the musicians that surround him. We wanted to keep it as in the moment as possible,” said Michael, who accompanies himself on grand piano. What results is a very open hearted and spirited album about making your way in the city of cities. Produced by Michael and Ron Allaire for bluewingmusic, Michael created some songs in minutes, others took several years. Most were recorded in the wee hours of the morning with a tight-knit group of artists including Sean Harkness, Jonathan Mover (Aretha Franklin, Elton John) Dave Schommer (Carole King, Gavin DeGraw) Valerie Ghent (Nina Simone, Ashford & Simpson) Nikki Van Cassele and Martine Allard.
The stories come from Michael’s own experience and people he’s met, while forging a career as a recording artist and performer in New York City. “You could talk to 50 different people on the subway, and they would all have 50 different stories and be going to 50 different places. That’s what makes (New York) such a unique place.” Why the name City Scrapes? The name is a play on the word cityscape, the iconic image of Manhattan and the bumps and bruises creative artists, business people and others alike sustain while living and working in America’s largest city. Despite a few creative bumps and bruises of his own, Michael says the city always inspires him “The city has always picked me up, given me the energy to carry on.” And City Scrapes is sure to do the same for all who listen.