A celebrated member of the New York Metro music scene, James Mastro has released his debut solo single “My God”, via Velvet Elk Records/OneRPM.
With credits including songwriter, guitarist, multi-instrumentalist, vocalist, arranger and producer, Mastro currently plays with the great Ian Hunter (Mott the Hoople)… when he’s not running the show at The Guitar Bar (Hoboken/Jersey City Heights locations). He emerged onto the scene as a member of the great NYC indie band The Bongos—one of the first bands to ever play Hoboken’s legendary Maxwell’s. Beyond forming indie band The Health and Happiness Show (Bar None Records), Mastro is known for his astounding guitar work and musicality, working with Patti Smith, John Cale, The Jayhawks, Richard Lloyd (Television), Phoebe Snow, Steve Wynn (the Dream Syndicate), and Jill Sobule.
According to Mastro, he had no intention of writing “My God”. He calls it “a song of belief in oneself and in others” and says “I wish I didn’t have to write it… but I guess a little reinforcement couldn’t hurt.”
Mastro’s deep introspection in “My God” presents a straightforward sermon on the topic that is certainly direct, while remaining thoughtful and relatable. Engaging melodies draw the listener in, as well-crafted lyrics reflect upon the complexities of the contemporary relationship with the higher being/beings. “My God” delivers its impactful message in a manner evocative of George Harrison or David Bowie—remaining decidedly more hopeful than XTC.
Mastro brings a masterful combination of maturity, subtly and reverence to this marvelous track, and “My God”, it shows.
Produced by Tony Shanahan (Patti Smith Band), “My God” was recorded at Hobo Studio in Weehawken, NJ, with Mastro singing and playing guitars, Shanahan adding bass, keyboards, and backing vocals, and Louie Appel on drums.