Think of “Folk/Rock Adventures,” the new album from Marty Miles, as a travelogue of his journey, thus far, in music and life. The South Bend-based singer-songwriter revisits a couple of songs he wrote nearly two decades ago, as well as keeping his listeners up-to-date with newer songs.
With his honest and personal songwriting style, Miles shares stories of hosting a foreign exchange student in “Only Borrowed Never Owned” and of his time in Portugal with “Victor’s Song.” Love songs like “The Sun In Your Eyes” and “I Give You My Hand” are ideal wedding songs, and, in fact, were written for two of his four children’s nuptial ceremonies.
Miles’ faith infuses much of his music, most explicitly in “The Love You Give,” a song of God’s grace, and the tale of evangelism in “What Planet Are You From?”
Not that Miles has all of the answers, as he explores human frailties in “Pull Back Again,” and with “Believe In Love,” he wonders how he can still believe in love with all of the trials and tribulations of the world.
Miles is accompanied on “Folk/Rock Adventures” by his estimable band – percussionist Jim Catalano, bassist Dan Balmer (who co-produced the album with Miles) and guitarist Dan Leonhardt – giving each song whatever it needs, whether it is a hard-hitting rhythm or a joyful, shimmering shine.
“Folk/Rock Adventures” ends on a bittersweet note. With the void left in late-night television by the retirement of David Letterman, Miles reminds us we will never again see the likes of Paul Shaffer with the loving tribute “World’s Most Dangerous Band.” Preceded by the powerful remake of “She’s Gone” - originally recorded on his 2000 album “Eyes” - the album closes with a overwhelming one-two punch.
Not every musical performer is an entertainer. Many just stand there and sing and strum. And maybe they talk to the audience and maybe they don't.
And then there's Marty Miles, a talented performer and a consummate entertainer. You won't be in Marty's audience for long before you're either singing along or engaged in banter or listening to a fascinating story - either spoken or in song. Marty makes his performances interesting and fun. His open and warm personality is infectious and soon everyone in the room feels like family. And he backs that up with fine vocals, smooth musicianship and a repertoire that ranges from quiet folk songs to rollicking rock - including Marty's excellent original songs as well as covers of all of your favorites.
Marty is a veteran of the local music scene that can always be counted on to deliver a great show. Whether he's playing solo, with a small combo or along with some top guest artists, you'll never be disappointed with his show. Check your local listings and be there at the next Marty Miles show!
Al Kniola The Back Porch 88.1 WVPE-FM
"Song For Sarah & Jesse" in action An Email Message From Pastor Brian Beeks at Monticello United Methodist Church in Monticello, IN: Marty, Thanks for coming and sharing in music on Sunday. I have received many positive comments. I also want to share a story with you. Bootsie was touched by the song about the death of your babies. She commented to me that she didn’t know why that song* had touched her so because she had never lost a baby. Today she was meeting with a group of women for lunch and a woman was a little “ouchy” and said she wouldn’t be in church on Sunday. There were others around and Bootsie didn’t feel comfortable probing. When they were leaving, Bootsie happened to see Peggy in the parking lot and they talked some more. Peggy said, “I’m planning to be a grouch on Sunday.” On Labor Day weekend 31(?) years ago, her doctor didn’t want to bother coming in to deliver her son and he ended up dying. Bootsie said she immediately knew why she wanted [the CD with] that song on Sunday. She went to her car and got the CD and gave it to Peggy. Thanks again. Brian