THE SHORT VERSION:
Shared stages with Caitlin Rose, Mat Kearney, Cory Branan, Amanda Shires, and many others. Toured 120+ days in 2011, on pace for more in 2012. Four records down and a fifth coming in September. Enough Paul Simon comparisons and American Songwriter reviews to fill an album jacket. But wait! There's more!
ABOUT THE NEW RECORD, YOUNG AVENUE:
This is a record built for a late-summer twilight drive, windows down, no particular destination in mind. Maybe you're on Memphis streets, and maybe you're anywhere - but those are the streets that raised up Chris Milam, and they're the ones that inspired so much of his 2012 EP Young Avenue.
"I feel like every record gets more personal," Chris says of the writing on his fifth release since his 2005 debut Leaving Tennessee. "I've learned this lesson really slowly - other people seem to know out of the gate that it's true - but I've learned that the more I write really specifically to my own experience, the more other people relate to it. The more I write what I think only matters to me, the more it seems to resonate with everyone who hears it."
So on Young Avenue, he focused on the specific being universal. The entire EP is obsessed with specificity. A specific time - roughly the end of summer and the beginning of fall - and a specific place - wherever anyone would call home. But to be even more specific? It's the Memphis suburbs, where Chris grew up. "It's a really evocative place for me, to this day," he says. "When I feel bored or I need to get reconnected to something I'll still just drive out there."
Throughout the writing process for the record - which started around a year ago - Chris says he found himself listening to music that reminded him of that time and place, of growing up. Those influences include alt-rock classics from a cult favorite 90s radio station (Gin Blossoms New Miserable Experience, R.E.M.'s Automatic For the People, Counting Crows August and Everything After) and melody-driven singer-songwriters (Ryan Adams Gold, Matthew Sweet Girlfriend). It's straight-forward rock guitar riffs and personal stories, delicate acoustic guitar and laid-back harmonica.
Chris clicked pretty instantly with Kevin Cubbins, who engineered and produced the record. With Kevin's help, Chris assembled what amounts to just about his dream band - Mark Edgar Stuart (Jack Oblivian, Cory Branan, Pawtuckets) on bass, Al Gamble (City Champs, Marc Broussard, Gamble Brothers Band) on keys, Chris Thomasmeyer (Cory Branan, Pawtuckets) on drums and Kevin Cubbins himself (Pawtuckets) on guitar.
"This record is called Young Avenue for a lot of reasons," Chris says. "That evokes a lot. But I think the record is really obsessed with youth, and with Memphis as a place to call home and place to come back home to. The name Young Avenue felt like a logical intersection of those ideas, literal and figurative."
It's a record about intersections, in a way, about places between. Somewhere between summer and fall. Somewhere between graduation and the 10-year reunion. Somewhere between adolescence and growing up.
Young Avenue hits the streets, Memphis and otherwise, on September 25 via ChrisMilam.com.
Chris Milam - Guitar, Lead Vocals
Seth Hendricks - Guitar, keys, background vocals
Carter Baldwin - Drums
Zac Goraczwky - Bass
Never In Love - Oct 18 2011
–Two song single featuring "Never In Love" & "Always In Love"
–"Stunning…an absolute sucker-punch. Reminiscent of Cory Branan's best moments." (Memphis Flyer)
–"Witty lyrics and acoustic prowess have garnered a ridiculous number of Paul Simon comparisons." (Bowery Boogie)
–"Always In Love" featured in Indie Memphis film/TV sampler, alongside Amy LaVere, among others.
Up - 2010
–Already called "one of 2010's best" (iTunes)
–"Earning Simon & Garfunkel comparisons…our Writer of the Week" (American Songwriter)
Tin Angel EP - 2008
–Featuring the singles "On My Way" and "Tin Angel," both earning regular local airplay in Nashville and surrounding areas
Leaving Tennessee - 2005
–Featuring the title track "Leaving Tennessee," picked for United State of Americana compilation and spun by 200 different college and Americana stations.
–Featuring the single "Whenever It Rains," spun on a dozen pop stations across the Southeast
–Featuring the follow-up "Memphis Queen," also played regularly on Southeastern radio
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