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Sounds: Miles Maxwell // Red Ghost

In late summer 2017, thirty-something lead singer/guitarist Miles Baltrusaitis hadn’t played an original note of music for an audience in nearly a decade. Surprising everyone around him, he went on an intense songwriting flurry fueled by a broken heart and a suburban life rattled out of cruise control.

From that, we got this new Americana rock-infused album Red Ghost. No one makes heartbreak so much fun, and while I’m happy to say I haven’t experienced heartbreak in a while, I know who to turn to/where to turn.

After a chance encounter, he enlisted the help of fellow Williams College football teammate and drummer Matt Stankiewicz and his keyboardist brother Dan. The three agreed to launch the band Miles Maxwell (hint: Maxwell is Miles’s middle name), added on Steve Kingwell –  and the lineup was complete.

“I love the dynamic we have where I can bring in a crazy idea, riff, lyric or story to Matt and Dan and they instinctively know how to give shape and structure. They’ll improve on it with extended vocal harmonies, or use their deep understanding of tempo and change the rhythm scheme to make it just right. Then we put Steve on top of that and we’ve got something pretty amazing.”

Genre-wise, the guys have a wide range of influences:  Steve Goodman and Harry Chapin, alt-country rockers Uncle Tupelo, the Americana legend Steve Earle, and the Jazz Rock of Steely Dan. Which you all hear a little bit in the new album.

The nine compelling tracks on Red Ghost are lyrically witty and decidedly quirky, but also have a heartfelt confessional intensity that Miles never could have shared back in his 20’s.

The 20’s are being little pieces of shits, the 30’s are for telling stories about it.

The album just came out a few days ago (favorite tracks: She Says (Whiskey Down at 4AM) and Something New). Go on, give it a listen.

-K

Mixed by Sean O’Keefe (Fall Out Boy, Plain White Ts, Hawthorne Heights)

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