“I always wondered whether Odysseus started to doubt his voyage at that point,” says Evan Murphy, guitarist, singer, and songwriter of progressive string band Mile Twelve. The point which he ponders is when Homer’s leading man washes ashore, shipwrecked and nearly drowned, and falls in love with his savior, Naussica. Murphy would imagine just what Odysseus was thinking; was he tempted just to stay on that island? Could he just start a whole new life for himself? Like any good songwriter before or after him, Murphy’s imagination got a hold of him and it all ended up in a new Mile Twelve song, “Take Me As I Am.”
In what started as a strummed folk number with co-writer Danny Erker, Murphy began to imagine how “Take Me As I Am” would sound with what he describes as “double time banjo and a pulsing, anthemic string band groove.” His Mile Twelve bandmates—BB Bowness on banjo, Korey Brodsky on mandolin, Ella Jordan on fiddle, and Nate Sabat on upright bass—were up for the challenge, quickly finding the groove that Murphy was searching for. “Kiss me and teach me how to breathe,” sings Murphy in the song’s opening line, setting up a mysterious alternate ending to the great Homer poem. “But now my fingers float across your skin, can we let this journey end? At least tonight there’s nowhere else I want to be,” the narrator sings. Yesterday, Glide Magazine premiered “Take Me As I Am,” writing this song, “…finds the band blending progressive bluegrass with folk-pop and rock to make for a sound that is lively and invigorating.”
Fans can hear “Take Me As I Am” now at this link, listen to Mile Twelve’s previously-released singles “Close Enough To Hear” and “Johnny Oklahoma,” and pre-order or pre-save their brand new album Close Enough To Hear ahead of its February 3rd release right here. A full list of Mile Twelve’s upcoming tour dates can be found below or at miletwelveband.com/tour. Tickets for March and April dates will go on sale this Friday at 12 pm EST.
More About Close Enough To Hear: Fans of Mile Twelve will notice the presence of two new members on Close Enough To Hear: fiddler and vocalist Ella Jordan and mandolinist Korey Brodsky. Take note of the new dimension they add to the band, and their ability to lock in with founding members Evan Murphy (guitar, vocals), Catherine Bowness (banjo), and Nate Sabat (bass, vocals). These aren’t session players; this album captures the formation of a new coherent unit. “Recording this album, our third full length, wasn’t easy,” says Murphy. “The pandemic froze the music industry for two years. We had undergone personnel changes. People who followed us couldn’t be blamed for wondering what, if anything, we might be up to. This was attempting a high jump from a total standstill, no running start.”
Both of the bands’ previous full-length albums, as well as their guest star-packed EP, were recorded in Nashville. But the new challenges of traveling and dodging positive covid tests kept the band closer to home. They chose Sam Kassirer’s legendary Great North Sounds in the woods of Parsonsfield, Maine, a studio that’s played host to a murderer’s row of Americana acts and has become a fixture of the New England recording scene.
“I’m more proud of this album than anything else I’ve done to date,” says bassist Nate Sabat. “Listening back, I feel an undeniable urgency in the music. A fresh sound rushing out, wanting to be heard. The songwriting, arrangements, execution, and aesthetic are all bullseye, and I couldn’t be more excited to share this music with our fans.”
This is a band looking forward—simultaneously shoring up their bluegrass foundations (in the transfixing a capella opening of “If Only,” for example) while also pushing their musical boundaries and driving into new territory. You’ll detect flavors of jazz (“Red Grapes on the Vine”), acoustic pop (“Take Me As I Am”), and trance music (“Light of Angels”). Heard as a whole, Close Enough to Hear displays the vast potential of acoustic string band music in the hands of capable players.
Close Enough To Hear Tracklist:
Close Enough To Hear
Red Grapes on the Vine
Light of Angels
Hopping Around Telluride
Take Me As I Am
Catch Mile Twelve On Tour in 2023:
Jan. 20-22 – Anchorage, AK – Anchorage Folk Festival
March 2 – Cambridge, MA – The Sinclair
March 3 – Burlington, VT – Radio Bean
March 4 – Northampton, MA – Back Porch Festival
March 23-24 – Live Oak, FL – Suwanee Spring Reunion
March 25 – Fort Myers, FL – Sydney & Berne Davis Arts Center
March 26 – Decatur, GA – Eddie’s Attic
March 29 – Nashville, TN – The Station Inn
March 30 – Asheville, NC – Grey Eagle Outpost
March 31 – Berryville, VA – Barns of Rose Hill
April 1 – Easton, MD – The Avalon Theatre
April 14 – Fall River, MA – Narrows Center for the Arts
April 15 – New York, NY – Rockwood Music Hall Stage 2
June 15-16 – Grass Valley, CA – CBA Father’s Day Festival
For ticket information and future dates, please visit miletwelveband.com/tour.