Mike Kosec: “Sun And Shade”

Photography- Mike Kosec, Design- Phillip Wallens
All rights reserved

Mike Kosec’s “Sun and Shade” can be previewed and purchased at BandCamp (physical & download), Amazon (download), or iTunes (download).

“Sun and Shade” was recorded and produced by Michael Carr at Holland Studios, Milford, NJ, and mastered by Dennis Drake at Dennis Drake Music Labs, Holmdel, NJ.

Mike Kosec (Rhythm Guitar, Harmonica, Vocals), Michael Carr (Rhythm and Lead Guitars, Bass, Mandolin), Dan DeChellis (Keyboards) Bill Matlack, Jr. (Drums), Mark Davis (Percussion) Dan Kassel (Cello) Joe Donaway (Flugelhorn and Trumpet), Caren Kennedy, Jean Sarantos, Joe Janci (Backing Vocals). All songs written by Mike Kosec, except “Winter On The Boardwalk,” which was written by Rick Sarota.

“Sun and Shade” is an album of primarily acoustic songs, although Michael Carr’s electric guitar punctuates many of the tracks with flowing leads, sometimes energetic and with a slight country edge.

The songs draw much of their inspiration from early Bruce Springsteen, specifically “Greetings From Asbury Park” and “The Wild, The Innocent, And The E Street Shuffle.” The moods range from storyteller to social / environmental concerns to introspective / confessional relationship snapshots. On the title track he sings “All of the memories we save, are stored between the sun and the shade.” It’s an apt framing device for the album, as the craft of songwriting is its purest form is meant to blur the lines between fiction and reality, in which both are equal partners in conveying the writer’s values, dreams, and overall outlook on life. There’s also a Dylanesque approach to the writing and delivery on several songs, which is only natural due to his influence on Springsteen, as well as legions of songwriters who followed.

“All This Beauty” asks the timeless question: Is the environment here for out own enjoyment, or for the financial enrichment of developers who strip it away for more mansions and other commercial properties? It’s somewhat of a loaded question, because we live in a capitalist society, but when capitalism…as Don Henley put it…triggers “the end of innocence,” the value comes under question.

“If There’s A Way” ends with a playful nod to The Isley Brothers’ “Shout,” and there’s also a snippet of Buddy Holly’s “Not Fade Away” on another track (I’ll let you find that one).

Artistic expression is really a medium of magic…an artist seeks to inspire his or her audience with stories they carry around inside of them, and on occasion, the right artist at the right time will inspire a listener to create art of their own, and tell their own stories. That’s how “Sun and Shade” came to be. From Jersey to Georgia to Baltimore, it’s a travelogue of the human heart.