The Muckrakers
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The Muckrakers


Band Rock Acoustic


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"Mucking About"

Fans of the BoDeans and Jayhawks will love "Front of the Parade" from Louisville rock band the Muckrakers. Out on Madacy-distributed Toucan Cove, the group's label debut is charming in its unpretentious, straight-forward delivery.
- Billboard Magazine

"The Muckrakers, "Through My Door""

Fans of Jack Johnson's smoothed-out pop will sink their teeth into this single from the Muckrakers, who offer up a breezy take on "Through My Door," filmed mostly at a park in the summertime. In short, this tune is the musical equivalent of a cool glass of lemonade on a hot day.


"Best of 2005"

Kevin Gibson:
The Muckrakers, Front of the Parade: I listened to this pop masterpiece four times on a June road trip; I only wish the trip had been longer.

Sara Havens:
The Muckrakers, Front of the Parade: Worthy of taking over commercial radio.

- LEO Weekly

"4 Stars"

"Well executed... expressive songs" - Paste Magazine

"5 Out of 5 Stars"

OVERALL IMPRESSION. The Muckrakers Front Of The Parade, out September 13, is a spectacular album for the indie pop rockers. The songwriting is top-notch; the band's performance of the songs is superb. Vocalist Rob Carpenter and guitarist John Ruby met each other at Western Kentucky University where both were history majors, and began performing together as a two-man act at coffee houses. With additional guitarist Micah Gerdis, bassist Brian Meurer, and drummer David Sparks, the band recorded Front Of The Parade in Louisville and Nashville. The result is a CD that will make your "skip" button useless, with not one bad song in the bunch. The band is difficult (if not impossible) to pigeonhole into a particular genre, as the press release says that "their general sound seems to fit somewhere on an iPod mix between, say, Crowded House and Matchbox 20." Regardless of how one might classify them, there is no doubt The Muckrakers have talent. While every song on the CD is well-written and catchy, one stands above the rest - "When The Morning Comes," which features a guest appearance by hip hop group Code Red. The song will get stuck in your head and you may never get it out, but you won't complain about it either. Come the middle of September, you should definitely seek out The Muckrakers and add Front Of The Parade to your permanent playlist.

BEST TRACKS. "Warning Sign," "When The Morning Comes" (featuring Code Red), "Wake Up," "Sylvia."



""When you hear a band this good, you hope others will notice them.""

Harmonies. Musicianship. Songwriting. The trilogy of these talents will take these guys all the way. Pop/rock is often formula music, but not for these guys. This CD is so interesting that even those that shun the genre would like it if they gave it a listen.

The lyrics alone stand out, even without all the other things this group has going for it. A sample: "Talking to myself 'til the conversation turns to an argument."

When you hear a band this tight -- this good -- you hope others will notice them. You hope that they will be rewarded for being a standout in a long line of bands that imitate rather than innovate. Pop/rock has to be that good for me to like it.

Some groups try too hard to force this kind of sound. Others just copy bands that have had commercial success. Once in a while, a band comes along that just plain works. You can't force good songwriting. You can't make a reviewer like you. If you like this style of music, you must get this CD. If you don't like pop/rock, give them a chance. These guys just might convert you.


"Snap Crackle Pop"

It seems like the Muckrakers have been around too long — and have been sounding too good — for this to be the band’s first national release. Then again, eight years of performing and songwriting have given the band time to hone its craft, and that experience is on full display here. From start to finish, Front is filled with thoughtful, radio-ready songs built on deft musicianship, sweet melodies, beautiful harmonies and brittle characters. “Working My Way” is melodic pop about longing and hope, while “When the Morning Comes,” which reveals a bit of the band’s goofy side, enlists Louisville rappers Code Red to wonderful effect. The album’s also brimming with character profiles and stories of people who’ve lost their way, such as the tragic protagonist in “Sylvia,” who Lights the day’s last cigarette .../reaches for the pilot light turns it on/and wipes her eyes tells them that she loves them all/tells them that it’s not their fault. From the astute “Cigarettes & Magazines” to frontman Rob Carpenter’s ode to the band’s early days in “Happy Inn,” Front of the Parade never falters or loses direction.

- Leo Weekly

"4 stars"

Whoever would have expected Louisville, Kentucky to be a hotbed of pop/rock bands? Well, somehow, the Toucan Cove label keeps finding them. The first band from Louisville that they signed was Digby, and now they present the Muckrakers. Front of the Parade, produced by Todd Smith (Days of the New, Smash Mouth), is the Muckrakers’ second album overall, and is a solid collection of melodic, harmony-laced, southern-tinged music that could hold its own against anything put out by the likes of Sister Hazel or Pat McGee Band.

The opening two tracks, “Cigarettes and Magazines” and “Through My Door,” are akin to the Barenaked Ladies before BNL got quirky and annoying. “Hold On” is a guitar- driven dead ringer for Better Than Ezra, and “Breathe In Breathe Out” is a textured, emotive song that incorporates some horns for embellishment—kudos to producer Smith on this one. Other standouts are the upbeat “When the Morning Comes,” and the incredibly hooky “Working My Way.” There are also a few clunkers on here, but all in all a fine label debut, which finishes with “Happy Inn,” an Irish pub drinking song of sorts.

The Muckrakers are the kind of band that writes solid music, tours regionally and makes a nice living doing it. Hopefully with label support they will continue to gain fans nationally, because they deserve every opportunity to survive in a crowded pop/rock/AAA field. Knowing that there are pockets of music lovers that worship easy-on-the-ears pop/rock in the Vertical/Hootie/Ezra/Hazel vein, here’s hoping that those worshippers find the Muckrakers as well.


""Front of the Parade""

Notable Lyric "Blames it all on innocence, prays for ignorance" from "Cigarettes and Magazines"

Factoid: Rob Carpenter and John Ruby met at Western Kentucky University as history majors.

Serve With: The one little breakthrough video on VH1.

Comments: The Muckrakers have a Bare Naked Ladies vibe but not always as perky or sarcastic. There's even a nice hip-hop/rap interlude in "When the Morning Comes" compliments of Code Red. With thoughtful lyrics and competent musicianship, and unlike most records, Front of the Parade seems to improve with each track, leaving a sweet lingering aural aftertaste.

- Score! Music

"At the "Front of the Parade""

Their guitar-based pop songs are full of wonder, love and mostly hope. Their first national album, Front of the Parade, mixes Sister Hazel’s guitar and Barenaked Ladies vocals and wit to create their own signature sound that’s heavy with harmony. Don’t be surprised if you hear these Louisville, Ky., boys on a WB network show soon... Having opened up for bands such as the Violent Femmes, Vertical Horizon and Jessica Simpson, you’re sure to hear more about this group, especially if you watch a lot of TV.

- Campus Circle Magazine


2007 • Gravity/Atlantic City
2006 • Live at Paste Magazine
2006 • Live at XM Cafe
2005 • Front of the Parade
2005 • Keep Your Distance: Original Soundtrack
2001 • Losing Sleep
1998 • Forgot To Breathe



• Blender Magazine: Editor's Pick
• Billboard Magazine: "Charming... Unpretentious."
• Paste Magazine: "4 stars"
• As Heard On XM Cafe, MTV, VH1
• Featured track on Paste Magazine Sampler
• Featured in "Paste Recommends" listening stations in retail outlets across the country
• Over 550,000 legally purchased downloads at

Since forming at Western Kentucky University in 1998, The Muckrakers have been drawing mobs of sweating, dancing, request-shouting fans. Something about the music connected, as they racked up over 550,000 downloads on and moved over 20,000 pieces of their first two independently-produced albums.

By 2000, The Muckrakers were playing to sold-out crowds throughout the Louisville area, opening for the likes of Vertical Horizon and the Violent Femmes, and being named "Band You'd Most Want to Hook Up With" by a local paper. The Mayor of Louisville officially proclaimed July 8 to be “Muckrakers Day.” Seriously. He did.

In 2004, the band signed to Toucan Cove Entertainment/ Label X, and began recording with venerable producer Todd Smith (Days of the New, Smash Mouth, Digby). And on September 13, 2005, the highly-anticipated debut album from The Muckrakers was released nationally, delivering on the promise of the great American pop-rock band.

FRONT OF THE PARADE offers a collection of immediately memorable songs based on unabashedly melodic vocals, tight, soulful harmonies and clean ensemble playing.

The Muckrakers draw from the accessible melodics of Matchbox 20, Crowded House and Barenaked Ladies (from whom they also draw their sardonic lyrical humor and unusual stage antics). From the can't-get-it-out-of-your-head chorus of "When the Morning Comes" to the slightly mournful "Warning Sign," each of the twelve tracks explores and expresses a particular human experience.

The group recorded in Louisville and Nashville, bringing in members of the Louisville Symphony Orchestra as well as label-mates, hip hop group Code Red. Though they enjoyed their time in the studio, The Muckrakers' favorite place to be is on stage. And now, new album in hand, the band is ready to bring their particular brand of Muck to the rest of the world.