Wayne Graham is the culmination of a work that began over 8 years ago, at least for band founder Kenny Miles. He and his brother Hayden have been writing, arranging, and playing music for as long as they can remember. When you add in the musical talents of band mates, Jon Grindstaff and Jordan Epperson, you finally have Wayne Graham. The unusual name comes out of Kenny's love and respect for family, combining the names of his grandfathers Wayne and Graham. The music has evolved since those early beginnings as well. From heavy rock to ballads, every style of music and artist is reflected in the sound you hear when you listen to Wayne Graham. Their musical influences include such greats as Wilco, Ryan Adams, Paul McCartney, and Paul Simon. When writing music and lyrics, the band strives for originality and diversity so that every song is it's own musical experience. The current group has been playing and traveling together for the past two years, playing anywhere that will have them. Their music is both ageless and timeless appealing to young and old alike. Wayne Graham is looking forward to the road that lies ahead. They've just released their newest album, 'Brighter by Now', in April, 2012.
Kenny Miles - Vocals, Piano, mandolin, Lead and Rhythm Guitar
Hayden Miles - Vocals, Drums, Piano, Percussion
Jon Grindstaff - Lead and Rhythm Guitar
Jordan Epperson - mandolin, keyboard, Lead and Rhythm Guitar, & Vocals
Ripe Old Age (2010)
Brighter by Now (2012)
A Sound Assessment Wayne Graham, live @ Taylor Books
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Today in A Sound Assessment, Dr. Tim reviews Friday night's performance by the band Wayne Graham at ...Today in A Sound Assessment, Dr. Tim reviews Friday night's performance by the band Wayne Graham at Taylor Books in downtown Charleston. A five piece alt-folk-rock group from Whitesburg, KY, Wayne Graham gave us a solid two hours of music--and pretty damn good music, at that.
Well, kids, I arrived at Taylor Books on Friday night with a stomach ache and a chip on my shoulder, eager to see what Wayne Graham, a five-piece from Whitesburg, KY, had in store for us. Initially I was shocked; in my naivete I had imagined they would bring the entire band, yet I sighted only two musicians on the stage.
The brothers Miles, Kenny and Hayden, had brought only themselves, eschewing the rhythm section and lead guitar. This left us with Kenny playing acoustic and singing, and Hayden on the cajon (a rhythm device that is a resonant, hollow block, with snares inside, on which the drummer sits) played with brushes or empty hands, and occasional backing vocals. No mics, no amplification. And this I liked because the more electricity you strip from a group, the more the raw nature of their music shines forth. This has proven to be true on many an occasion. Even so heavy, loud and visceral a group as Nirvana shone brightly, glimmered with a strange, poignant, beautiful light when performing with minimal sonic accoutrement.
I settled in with a glass of wine and began to listen. Kenny's guitar rang clear; the sound was rich and full, despite the lack of amplification. The cajon, likewise, proved to be an excellent accompaniment, providing a nice rhythmic touch without the distraction that a live drumkit would invite. Having listened to their tracks on myspace, it was pleasing to recognize tunes such as "Evelyn" and "Ripe Old Age," and hear each one stripped down to its bare essence. Kenny's voice rang clear and full, though sometimes with a touch of uncertainty or apprehension; it was obvious to me that the brothers hadn't known exactly what to expect when they arrived in Charleston.
They are a young band--the tentative nature of their performance cannot help but betray this, yet this youthful quality also lends a freshness and innocence to their music that I find so sorely lacking in the performances of many older groups in the Charleston area. It cannot be denied that these guys are exceptionally talented. The songwriting is excellent, being both musically astute and emotionally compelling--especially for their age; at one point, Kenny lyrically referred to "twenty-one years" on this planet. It will be most pleasing to hear their music mature and solidify, deepen and branch out over time. It made me smile to see it: these guys actually care, really care, about music.
My evening ended with extreme hunger setting in, the kind where it seems like strength is leaching out of your body with each passing second. Still, I was pleased to have been there. It is my sincere hope that Wayne Graham return to Taylor Books, and bring the whole battalion this time. At one point during the show, Kenny said that their music is best heard with the entire band, and to some that may sound like a performer trying to explain away what he thinks is a sub-par show. But I recognized that statement immediately for what it was: a musician with a real vision for how he wants his music to be presented, and who believes that his music is good enough to warrant presenting it in the best possible light. I doff my cap to the Miles brothers; come back soon, fellas.
Wayne Graham @ Taylor Books
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Written by Dr. Tim Thursday, 26 August 2010 10:00 http://www.kvlive.net/images/stories/feat...Written by Dr. Tim
Thursday, 26 August 2010 10:00
http://www.kvlive.net/images/stories/feature/2010-08-26/taylor.jpgWith live music that runs for a solid two hours, a friendly, intimate atmosphere, and lack of cover charge, Taylor Books remains one of the best bets in Charleston for live weekend entertainment. This Friday night, Taylor's will be visited by Wayne Graham, a band from Whitesburg, KY. Worth coming out for? Read on and see! Ooooooo!
Let's be frank: not a lot of fantastic rock-oriented music passes through Charleston. We just aren't a bright enough blip on the screen. We do, of course, get plenty of bad metal, as well as endless permutations of rockabilly (ex: psycho-billy, hellbilly, hole-billy, punkabilly, surfabilly, rapabilly, and my favorite, psy-tranceabilly, which is fantastic when you're tripping), but we are seriously deprived of fresh, innovative young rock bands. And yes, the young part is important. Seeing as how the Charleston music scene is, for the most part, dominated by middle-aged white guys, any infusion of fresh blood, however temporary, always gets my ears perked up.
Enter Wayne Graham. Now don't get too excited--after all, they're not local, and thus we can't expect them to perform here regularly, but hey, one can always hope. From Whitesburg, KY, this young five-piece is the kind of group that should be seen when they pass through. They sport a sound that is, though highly derivative of groups like Fleet Foxes, fresh and innovative enough to stand out, and polished enough to impress--certainly on record and, I sincerely hope, in a live setting.
Groups like the above-mentioned Fleet Foxes have, in recent years, finally made it acceptable to let the "folk" part of folk-rock be worn on the sleeve, as well as the spiritual/hippieish inspiration from which such music would seem to be borne. Wayne Graham follow nicely in that newly-established tradition, and I mean that as a sincere compliment. But as LeVar Burton so often said, don't take my word for it; check out their tracks on www.myspace.com/waynegrahammusic. On their recent release, Ripe Old Age, the guitar parts are simple yet intricately woven, and never overbearing; the vocals are clean and executed with confidence and spirit, and the lyrics are well-suited to the feeling that the music inspires. The production is actually pretty good, which is not always the case for self-produced debut records.
The band features a driving, full rhythm section, and whether we'll see this in force on the Taylor's stage is in question; it is, after all, a cafe, and owner Ann Saville might not take too kindly to a full-on rock band chugging away underneath her apartment. But my guess is that Wayne Graham will rise to the occasion and let their acoustic beauty shine forth, as all good rock bands are capable of doing in a stripped-down performance environment.
Wayne Graham will take the stage at Taylor Books this Friday night, from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. The location: Capitol Street, between Lee and Quarrier Streets, in downtown Charleston. The cost: free. The cafe has a selection of coffee drinks, food and wine available. Oh, and of course, a lot of books.
New Band Wears Influences
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New band wears influences By SALLY BARTO Members of Letcher County’s new folk-rock band Wayne Gr...New band wears influences
By SALLY BARTO
Members of Letcher County’s new folk-rock band Wayne Graham are, from left, bassist Charlie West, drummer Hayden Miles, and singer-songwriter Kenny Miles. (Photo by Sally Barto) Two Letcher County brothers and a friend sing lyrics about faith and lessons learned from family in their debut album.
“It kind of documents the way a family faces situations,” said Kenny Miles, front man and primary songwriter of the band Wayne Graham. “We all face it together. We put God first and it makes that situation easier to get through.”
Kenny Miles, 20, and his 15-year-old brother, Hayden, of Mayking, co-wrote many of the 13 tracks on “Ripe Old Age”, which should be available for purchase at Hometown Music, The Way Christian bookstore, and on iTunes by the end of March.
Hayden, a freshman at Letcher County Central High School, plays drums and sings while 27-yearold Charlie West, of Cram Creek, plays bass.
Musical influences vary for each band member. West lists highly-acclaimed professional bass players Billy Sheehan and Victor Wooten as his top favorites, while Hayden listens to British alternative rock band Elbow and admires drummer Thomas Pridgen of The Mars Volta. Kenny likes singer-songwriter Paul Simon, and alternative bands Wilco and My Morning Jacket.
The trio categorizes its music as folk/rock.
Several family ties can be found in Wayne Graham including the band name, which is in honor of Kenny and Hayden’s grandparents. The song, “Evelyn”, is named after their grandmother. “Evelyn’s Prayer” records a weekly ritual that has meaning to the brothers.
“Every Sunday we go and eat dinner at my grandma’s house,” said Kenny Miles. “It’s something that is important for me to hear each week.”
Kenny Miles attended recording school after he graduated from LCCHS and then tried community college for a semester.
“I want to play music my whole life,” said Kenny Miles. “I tried other things but I can’t focus on that. I can’t take my mind off of music long enough to give it a chance.”
Their parents, Kim and Ken Miles, built a recording studio in the basement of their home where “Ripe Old Age” was recorded. The brothers have dubbed the studio Fat Baby Studios.
Hayden, who has been playing music for six years, and Kenny, who has been playing music for 11 years, have been making music together for about a year. They play in a praise band at Truth Ministries with West and decided to ask him to join Wayne Graham.
“I’m just lucky to be along for the ride,” said West.
Jason Griffith, LCCHS band director, played coronet on a song, Ken Miles played saxophone, and Rhonda Gordon played flute on a song on the album.
“It’s mostly stories about making it through tough situations,” said Kenny Miles. “They aren’t all necessarily true stories. Really, in all of them they end on a good note.”
There are no upcoming dates at this time.