American Beauties
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American Beauties

Somerville, Massachusetts, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2011 | SELF | AFM

Somerville, Massachusetts, United States | SELF | AFM
Established on Jan, 2011
Band Folk Rock




"Listen to This: American Beauties “Miles From Nowhere”"

For fans of the Jayhawks or Wilco you cannot go wrong with these guys…hell, if you dig Jeff Tweedy you may have just found your next favorite band.

There are tinges of Big Head Todd and the Monsters and Toad the Wet Sprocket here that I latch onto. The phrasing, the arrangement, the guitar parts. There is a catchy and mesmorizing character in the track “Miles from Nowhere”. Michael Gray’s voice lends itself to some sort of nostalgia sentiment that i long for and rarely find. This is a win for me…listen up! - Red Line Roots

"American Beauties "Too Worn To Mend""

Posted April 7th, 2014 by Bluesman2077 & filed under Reviews.

The American Beauties are a folk-rock quartet out of Somerville, Massachusetts who released their debut record, “Too Worn to Mend” in late 2012. The band’s sound has been widely compared to such bands as The Band, Crosby Still Nash & Young, and the Jayhawks. While the band’s sound is clearly influenced by these bands and others, make no mistake, they have a sound of their own.

The magic of this group comes in the way that the collective members, Michael A. Gray (vocals/guitar/harmonica), Jonas Kahn (guitar), Justin Kolack (Bass) and Jeff Allison (drums/backing vocals) complement one another with their respective craft and come together to create a strong groove that starts at the opening track of the record and carries on through to the end. For an independently made record, “Too Worn to Mend” is produced and mixed masterfully.

While the whole record is very strong, I will showcase a few tracks that stood out to me. “Hole in My Lung” and “Miles from Nowhere” are two songs that capture the essence of the band. While many of the bands comparisons are drawn from bands from the 70s’s, both of these songs remind me of the brilliant band out of Seattle, Band of Horses. “Last Dance” is a beautiful duet that features Amber Casares sharing vocal duties with Gray, as well as a lovely string arrangement. “Grace Under Fire” is the feel good song of the album and sounds like it could have come from an Eagles record. Finally, the track “Deep Blue Lake” really showcase the vocal abilities of Michael A. Gray, and also has some beautiful harmonies which really make the song shine.

I feel very fortunate that I was able to experience American Beauties thanks to a submission to this website. Otherwise, I may have missed out on a great record. Being a fan of indie music comes with a huge responsibility that goes just beyond supporting the music. When we find a band or record that really excites us, we must spread the word so that others may do the same thing. There is power in word of mouth, Facebook posts and tweets. They can make a huge difference to a band and to a record. I am telling you that American Beauties is an awesome band who have made a wonderful record called “Too Worn to Mend.” Now it’s your turn. Go and experience them for yourself. I think that you will be glad that you did. If you like what you hear, you know what to do! - The Music Room

"American Beauties' "Too Worn To Mend" is chosen "Album Of The Week" and charts at No. 1 on (NPR Affiliate) WVIA 89.9 Scranton/Wilkes Barre, PA"

American Beauties debut release "Too Worn To Mend" reached No. 1 on the WVIA music charts for the week of November 26, 2012. The album was also selected as "Album Of The Week" and reviewed live on-air on Wednesday November 21, 2012 by George Graham, WVIA's well-respected Music Director. - George Graham, WVIA Musical Director

"KAMP - University of Arizona Review of "Too Worn To Mend""

Artist: American Beauties
Non-Airable Tracks: NONE
Label: Independent

If your cup of tea is chill, folk-pop, I-heard-this-at-a-coffee-shop music, then American Beauties is your cup of tea. The band is from Somerville, Massachusetts and cites Wilco, Neil Young, and Radiohead as some of their influences. I don’t necessarily agree there, but either way the songs on this album are smooth-listening folk-rock-pop—whatever that means.

Sounds Like: Neil Young
Sounds Like: Barenaked Ladies
Recommended Tracks:
1--Relaxing, easy listening opening to the album. Unlike the other songs in that it sounds more like Iron & Wine and less like country.
6--There’s a great guitar break in this song that adds to the upbeat lyrics.
Name: Kalli Wolf
Date Reviewed: 11/28/2012
- Kalli Wolf

"Too Worn To Mend - Dark Horse Nashville Album Review"

Dark Horse Nashville
December 10, 2012

Too Worn To Mend
American Beauties
Label: Indie
Release Date: October 2012

American Beauties launched a full-length debut, “Too Worn To Mend” in October (2012) as a folk pop/rock group led by Michael Gray. A singer/songwriter who co-produced the 11-cut volume with Ducky Carlisle, Gray’s determination and ambition are palpable. He took an artistic risk releasing a full-length debut. The risk is duly noted.

“Too Worn To Mend” pops till it rocks in a retro AM radio style. Familiar like a favourite pair of jeans, this is easy listening music without stigma.
There’s a great deal of art found throughout “Too Worn To Mend.” Gray writes interesting lyrical vignettes. Musically there are gems. Gone Gone has high appeal as a single with obvious influence from early rockers. On A String is a solid second pick. The album’s title emerges in the lyrics here. The dark horse is a soulful and earthy, Grace Under Fire that rocks in a southern style, but it’s not a straight shot of country. This is Americana.

Overall, Gray created an interesting, nostalgic frosh outing. - Dark Horse Nashville

"American Beauties' hit national/international radio with new CD 'Too Worn To Mend"

Breakout artists, ‘American Beauties’ of Somerville, MA have released their debut record ‘Too Worn To Mend’ which is taking off on radio across the US, Canada, and the UK.


PRLog (Press Release) - Nov 26, 2012 -
Breakout artists, ‘American Beauties’, an original independent folk-rock band from Somerville, Massachusetts, have recently released their debut record ‘Too Worn To Mend’. The album, a mix of contemporary and roots influences, was recorded at Ice Station Zebra in Medford, Massachusetts by Grammy award winning engineer Ducky Carlisle.

American Beauties are enjoying favorable success on indie radio across the US, Canada, and the UK. With a combined effort from their publicists LadyLake Music and radio distribution by Tinderbox Music, their new CD has been selected for airplay and promotion on these stations:

WUPX, WMTU, AM1700 - Michigan

KPUR, KEOL - Oregon

KMNR, KDWG - Montana

WFHU - Tennessee

KOTO, KDNK, KCSU - Colorado

KEUL, KBBI - Arkansas

KTSW, KANM - Texas

KAMP - Arizona

KUST, KFAI - Minnesota

KSSU, KGAR, KMUD, KCSS - California


KLCZ - Idaho



KTUH - Hawaii

KTCV - Washington

KRVS - Louisiana



WAKE - North Carolina

WSIN, WXCI, WCNI, WECS, WHUS - Connecticut

WGLS - New Jersey

WRFL -Kentucky

WTCC, WKKL, WMUA, WCHC - Massachusetts

WRDP, WLCA, WEFT - Illinois

WUMF, WMPG - Maine

WMHD - Indiana


WOWL - Florida

WUSC - South Carolina

WVRU - Virginia

WWPV – Vermont

CILU, CSCR - Ontario

American Beauties are also airing on the following indie stations and shows: Brooklands Radio, Olympic Radio, and Bishop FM in the UK and Wrecking Ball Radio, Crunch Radio, Ben AM-FM, New Driven Radio, the Penguin and Indie 104 LA.

--- End --- - LadyLake Music


Too Worn To Mend (October 2012)



American Beauties was formed in 2011 by a group of musicians from the vibrant roots music scene in Somerville and Cambridge, Massachusetts.   The band showcases the original compositions of lead singer and songwriter Michael Gray whose songs convey folk, pop, country, and rock influences in the vein of The Byrds, CSNY, The Band, and more contemporary artists such as The Jayhawks and Wilco.

American Beauties released their debut CD "Too Worn To Mend" in October 2012.   The album was recorded at Ice Station Zebra in Medford, Massachusetts by two-time Grammy-award winning engineer Ducky Carlisle (Buddy Guy), who also co-produced the record.  The full-length CD includes eleven original radio-friendly compositions of folk-rock and folk-pop honoring the band's musical influences.  Recording for their sophomore full-length record is wrapping-up and is due for release in fall 2019.  

Too Worn To Mend was added and has received radio airplay on over 160 college and independent radio stations in the US, Canada, and the UK; charting in the CMJ top 30 on 10 stations and reaching No. 1 at WVIA 88.9 (NPR Affiliate) in Scranton/Wilkes Barre, PA.  It has also received local airplay on WMBR 88.1 (MIT Boston), WATD 95.9 (Marshfield), among other Boston area and New England based radio stations.  The album continues to receive regular airplay on internet radio and has been played on many notable online stations across the globe.  Since its release in 2012, all eleven compositions on "Too Worn To Mend" have been selected independently for radio airplay by the many stations who reviewed and added the record for broadcast.  The band also signed sync and master licensing agreements with 16 cable TV shows in 2013 to use music from "Too Worn To Mend" for their programming.       

The band has played many local Boston-area clubs such as The Plough and Stars, Sally O'Brien's Bar, Atwood's Tavern, TT The Bears Place, and Bull McCabe's to name a few and has travelled to notable venues around New England including The Radio Bean in Burlington, VT and The Sandywoods Center For The Arts in Tiverton, RI.  They have also played many festivals around the Northeastern United States including the 2015, 2016, and 2018 (opening for Radney Foster) Black Potatoe Music Festival, 2013 Wachusett Valley Music Festival (which featured headliner Amy Ray of the Indigo Girls), the 2014 MOVE Music Festival, 2014 Harvard Square Oktoberfest, and 2015 Block Island Music Festival among others.         

American Beauties play an all-original and all-electric live show, but are also available to play acoustic sets for certain performances.

Band Members