The Milk Carton Kids is a new entry into the world of folk music. Falling somewhere between the old-timey traditionalism of Gillian Welch and the modern frenzy stirred by The Civil Wars, the duo that is The Milk Carton Kids uses only two voices and two old guitars to convey poignant songs that betray the youth of the band members. Their debut performance was a sold-out evening at the Los Angeles folk mecca, McCabe's last year. In the ensuing months they honed their show on the road, capturing it at two sold-out performances in Ventura, California as a live album which became their debut release Retrospect. The live album was released on March 15th, 2011 on their own Milk Carton Records, and is completely free online (7,000 downloads in the first two weeks and counting).
Individually, the members of The Milk Carton Kids (Kenneth Pattengale & Joey Ryan) have toured and released ten albums between them to critical acclaim (see quotes below). As a duo, their auspicious start is apparent in the fast respect they've earned from their musical peers. Last year was punctuated by opening slots for critical darling Vienna Teng, Grammy nominated Sara Bareilles, and acclaimed songwriter and frontman Glen Phillips.
With the current release of Retrospect and the announcement of a two month tour supporting Joe Purdy, 2011 will mark the formal introduction of The Milk Carton Kids. Not only will they open 38 shows for the reclusive troubadour across North America, they will also comprise Purdy's backing band performing duties on bass, pedal steel, piano, guitar, and harmonies. Looking ahead, expect their first studio recordings in the fall on their forthcoming release, Prologue.
THE MILK CARTON KIDS
RIYL: Gillian Welch, The Civil Wars, Justin Townes Earle
VIDEO: "As It Must Be" - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BL603D_U2R4
** "As It Must Be" is a free mp3 available for reposting (but the whole album is a free download at www.themilkcartonkids.com.) Your call.