Milton

Milton

 New York City, New York, USA
BandAmericanaAdult Contemporary

Well known for his dynamic live performances, warm stage presence and ultra literate songwriting Milton is an emerging artist who delivers rootsy, catchy songs heavily rooted in folk and old R&B. Solid following. Milton has shared bills with Collin Hay Shelby Lynne, Jamie Cullum and Norah Jones

Biography

2007 Mountain Stage NewSong Northeast Finalist.

Milton is a New York-based singer/songwriter and the leader of the Milton Band, a lively, rootsy six-piece group that plays dates up and down the East Coast and around the country. Already well known for his radio hit In the City on New York City’s WFUV, Milton released his second, self-titled CD to wide critical praise in November 2006. With the help of a busy live performance schedule and frequent airplay, Milton and the Milton Band have seen their audience increase rapidly in recent months.

The new CD features members of Milton's regular New York-based band, an international outfit that has come together over years of club gigs, and plays together like a family act. The band's senior member is bassist/string arranger Sami Buccella, who played his first gig with Milton in a Buenos Aires bar before the singer was even legal. Drummer Adam Chasan grew up in Spain, managed a recording studio and played drums on the road with a number of acts before answering an ad for the Milton Band. Piano player Frank Campbell started tickling the ivories just north of London, where he was born. His jazz chops impressed at Oxford, where he studied before working on the London club scene with Latin jazz ensembles. He eventually made it across the Atlantic, as did his Oxford classmate Martin Kearton, the band's lead guitarist and mandolin player. Lending harmony and percussion to the act is Southern belle Becca Parrish, who performed on her own and with several established club acts around town before she heard Milton practicing in an empty office and asked to sing with him.

Milton's musical journey began in the suburbs of New York City, where he was the youngest of many music-playing brothers. His family has a long history of making music. Grandma was a classical piano player and music teacher. Her brother was a folk singer who made 78s in the 40s, and sang songs from all over the world at family parties. There was also a bluegrass-banjo-picking cousin, a jazz-piano-playing uncle, and another cousin who met her husband in the French horn section of a pit orchestra. Not to mention Milton's older brothers, who were making records and playing punk rock in clubs by the time they were in high school.

As a teenager, Milton snuck off to the city whenever possible to meet as many strange characters and hear as many kinds of music as he could. Way gone on Bob Dylan, old R&B and the classics of Western literature, Milton began in earnest his own struggle to compose the well-made song. He taught himself to play guitar, and performed his fledgling compositions on any stage that would have him. After college in New York City and some time in South America, Milton headed to the heartland. He set up shop in Chicago, and played coffeehouses and clubs all over the Midwest. Eventually, feeling the pull of his roots, he returned to New York City. Here he writes, plays, sings and lives a life dedicated to making music.

Spotted singing at a folk showcase in Jacksonville, FL, Milton was approached by Moon Caravan Records, an indie label from Raleigh, NC. Soon after, he recorded his 2003 debut Scenes from the Interior at Jerry Kee's Duck Kee Studio with a host of great session players. Upon its release, Scenes from the Interior came to the attention of New York's acclaimed radio station WFUV, whose music director Rita Houston, along with many of the DJs at the station, became great Milton supporters. Other notable fans include famed New York concert promoter Ron Delsener and veteran Dylan/Cash/Leonard Cohen/Simon and Garfunkel producer Bob Johnston.

The new self-titled CD, released November 2006 on Flying Horse Records, was recorded in New York City, North Carolina and at the storied Bearsville Studios in Woodstock, NY. It’s currently getting spin on KCRW in Los Angeles and WFUV in New York, along with many stations in between. The band has appeared several times as guests on WFUV programs, including an on-air concert on Vin Scelsa's legendary Idiot's Delight. As an opener, Milton has shared bills with Yo La Tengo, Shelby Lynne, Jamie Cullum, Norah Jones and James Hunter, among others. As headliners, the band debuted at Joe's Pub at the Public Theater with a sold-out gig in November 2006. In the City was recently featured on a CD compilation of rising talent in Relix magazine's December 2006 issue.

Milton continues to tour and record regularly, both with the band and as a solo performer. He composed and recorded the music for Hard as Nails, an HBO documentary scheduled which premiered Spring 2007.

Lyrics

In The City

Written By: Milton

in the city

Well we closed down at the ho down, an easy take down without a breakdown
packed the band up filled the van up and had some hours left to kill
I hadn’t planned it but I was stranded in the old hood up to no good
the clubs were sold out and it was cold out and I don’t like standing still
well the east side is the b-side to a sad song, not a bad song
but it’s been left stacked by the junk racks of a thrift store on the floor
and the snide talk on the sidewalk of the hip folks and their hip jokes
and their hip clothes when the wind blows fade away for ever more
some say it’s not the place they knew
that may be sadly true
but I’m so glad to be walking around in the city

down on stanton kids are ranting about a tube show that I don’t know
while the stellar fortune teller waves her cards across the street
and my eyes glance at the short pants of the big shots dressed like robots
with their straight do’s and their space shoes sparkling silver on their feet
I’ll never get the whole bit down
It’s not my turf anymore, it’s not my town
but I’m so glad to be walking around in the city

I’ve walked these streets since I was ten
tonight they’re new again
and I’m so glad to be walking around in the city

with the
the lamp lights and the closed shops
the banjos and the boom box
and trash cans and the head bands
and the trombones and the calzones
the movies and the dive bars
and the skate boards and the old cars
and the old men and the young girls
and the gold teeth and the fake pearls
and the dread locks and the side curls
and the tailors and the sailors
and the church saints and the spray paint
and the tacos and the wackos
and the warhols and the lou reeds
and the fresh fruit and the bad seeds
and the sneakers and the headphones
down on bleecker down on great jones
with the curry and the red beans
and the junkies and the drag queens
and the be-bop and the hip hop
and the punk rock and street talk
on every paved inch and every park bench
and tree branch and every dude ranch
and every hot rod and every gum wad and every anarchists parade
it makes me glad

Booker

Written By: Milton

Booker

chopin hands on a dirty band stand
patch across your missing eye
you lost it somewhere outside of town
who knows what went down or why
from a mississippi gospel choir to a lousiana cell
the story of you is so hard to tell

booker, james booker
i still don’t understand
how all them crazy parts that always break my heart
came out of just one set of hands
booker, hey booker
don’t guess you could stay here
too many voices in your head
too much sweet music in your ears

you played with fess and fats and mac rebbenac
down on rampart and dumaine
and it wasn’t far from there
they found you in your chair
poisoned by concaine
you ran around a whole lot of different towns
playing games you couldn’t win
the rag running chief
of the maple leaf and the dew drop Inn

booker, james booker
laid out on floor
peerless great of the 88
didn’t live to fourty four
booker, hey booker
don’t guess you could stay here
too many voices in your head
too much sweet music in your ears

Blue Ridge

Written By: Milton

Blue Ridge

Asheville girl with the long brown hair
Wherever she goes you’re gonna find me there
Wake up in the morning and I’m still in a dream
Dunking my head in a mountain stream

Chorus:
I never knew a place that I loved so well
There ain’t no other peace I find
like the Blue Ridge Mountains in the summertime

I spent all day just listening to the breeze
Hummingbird’s wings and the river and the trees
I can’t remember what I was chasing downtown
If you get me up here I never want to come down
Chorus

Leaves come down now I’m back up the road
Running once again against the river’s flow
In the big gray city, all gritty and mean
Dreaming of the blue sky walking through the green

Oh New York City all covered in snow
Looking back in my mind
On the Blue Ridge Mountains in the summertime
Chorus

Discography

Grand Hotel (2008)
Milton (2006) Flying Horse Records
Scenes From The Interior (2003) Moon Caravan

"Grand Hotel" made the national top 40 Americana radio charts for two months in early 2009, going as High as #19.
The previous two records have been in heavy rotation on WFUV Radio New York and KCRW in LA and many stations in between. Play on many college radio stations throughout the U.S. WUMB Boston, WDET Detroit, WRUW, KTRU, Virigina, Cleveland, etc..

Set List

Sets are typically 40-45 minutes.
Milton's songbook includes approximately 50 original songs. Usually the band does one or two covers per show but does have at least 50 covers in their repertoire that range from old blues, traditional, country, to rock and roll standards and pop songs.