Washington, D.C.-based Mike Shupp writes American guitar pop songs in the way that Matthew Sweet, Tommy Keene, R.E.M., or Paul Westerberg do. Like those artists, his songs conjure the heartland, cruising through summer nights with one hand on the wheel, and the unlimited potential in tomorrow. With his buzzing and crunching guitars, soaring vocal harmonies, and hooks that he seemingly has written into every other line of every song, Shupp’s music, and his third full-length release “This Time” (Private Mind Records), is classic American pop. Recorded at Shupp’s City Park Sound studio, and mixed by two-time Grammy-winning producer/engineer Don McCollister (Third Day, Sister Hazel, Shawn Mullins, Indigo Girls) at Nickel & Dime Studios in Atlanta, the critically acclaimed “This Time” is Shupp’s third full-length solo release.
The Jan-Feb 2003 issue of Amplifier Magazine printed “[Shupp] has just released his third solo album, ‘This Time’, and it’s a killer… a must-have.” All Music Guide writes “This album is teeming with catchy melodies and sweet pop/rock arrangements… Fans of the Replacements ‘All Shook Down’ album should find comfort in much of the record… extremely well done…”
Shupp (pronounced shoop) plays all instruments on “This Time” except drums, and laid down the tracks in his home studio during July and August of 2002 (with a harmony vocal assist on “She’ll Come Around” from brother Bill Shupp). After tracking drums at Mike Harvey’s Actiondale Recorder (performed by Chris Zogby), Shupp packed up the studio and traveled to Nickel & Dime in Atlanta, setting up there to add a few finishing touches, while McCollister simultaneously mixed tracks in the main control room.
Shupp, formerly signed to Paradox/MCA Records as guitarist with D.C.’s Big Bang Theory (the name was later shortened to “Bang Theory”) lives outside of Washington, D.C. in Fairfax, Virginia. “October Sun” was the debut solo release from Shupp, receiving radio play on 43 stations nationally, and charting at three CMJ reporting stations. Shupp was mentioned in SPIN Magazine as one of the SPIN/GeoCities Unsigned Band Contest winners.
While playing with the world beat/dance/pop Big Bang Theory, and providing the cutting guitar presence which eventually helped the group land deals with EMI Publishing and Paradox/MCA, Shupp was writing some of the first songs which would eventually become “October Sun”, and help to define his own, more melodic sound. Recording the Big Bang Theory major label debut with three-time Grammy winning producer Glenn Rosenstein (Talking Heads, Ziggy Marley, Grey Eye Glances), he crafted the guitar sound which gave BBT its edge.
For 2000′s “The Key”, his second full-length CD release, Shupp worked with producer Jeff Murphy in Murphy’s Short Order Recorder studio in Zion, Illinois, outside of Chicago. Murphy was a member of the legendary, power-pop band The Shoes, and producer for Material Issue (including “Valerie Loves Me”), Local H, Tommy Keene. Shupp again played all instruments on “The Key” except drums, played by Chris Zogby.
The Washington Post called the “The Key” “an excellent new CD… a blast of righteously rocking power-pop… ‘The Key’ shimmers… ” while The Fairfax Journal printed, .. a rocking and emotional gem.. “Local music- one of this year’s top 10 releases” National college and Triple-A radio stations again gave airplay.
Shupp, as a solo artist has opened for such artists as Lisa Loeb and Tommy Keene at sold-out shows at D.C.’s 9:30 club, and has shared stages with such artists as Marvelous 3, Good Charlotte, Citizen Cope, By Divine Right, Sara Lee, Push Stars, as well as being included in The Washington Post’s “Night Lights of ’97″ top 20 local shows.