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Weekend Audition: Milk Carton Kids

Screencap from the video "I Still Want a Little More" by The Milk Carton Kids (Studio Footage)
Screencap from the video "I Still Want a Little More" by The Milk Carton Kids (Studio Footage)

Featured in the past on the World Café and NPR, The Milk Carton Kids have an upcoming spot in this year’s Rocky Mountain Folks Festival.

True confession.

I was speaking with Brian Eyster of Planet Bluegrass the other day. The subject was all of the great talent they have coming to this August’s Folks Fest in Lyons. Eventually, talk got around to discussing great new bands.

Now, I had heard of The Milk Carton Kids, but was not familiar with their music, my bad, because The Milk Carton Kids are wonderful.

Their music is wooden. They sound like brothers with harmonies reminiscent of Simon & Garfunkel. They play vintage guitars, Kenneth, a 1954 Martin O-15, and Joey, a 1951 Gibson J45. With those nods to the past, their music still has the sheen of today.


The band is composed of two guys who diverted their planned academic careers for the same realizations and love.

Joey Ryan, a Berkeley grad who planned to continue his studies of neuroscience but came onto his own discovery. As his artist bio at Mophonics.com says:

“I realized that the truths I was interested in discovering through science were actually more accessible through music.”

Kenneth Pattengale, has a degree in history from the University of Southern California, but also took the path of music. Producing records, writing scores and producing films, and performing his own music.

These are two musicians with extensive solo careers, but oh, the synergy when their talents come together. In March of 2011 they released a live album, Retrospect, as Kenneth Pattengale & Joey Ryan. In July 2011, they released a studio work under the nom de guerre The Milk Carton Kids, named Prologue.

Both Retrospect and Prologue are available at The Milk Carton Kids website as free downloads.

"I Still Want a Little More"

Though the majority of my radio experience has been in the commercial sector (from Colorado to Utah to Alaska), my radio was always tuned to the public station... I am an NPR junkie. I was blessed to work with some truly amazing and creative people in radio since my first professional job in the industry during my freshman year in college. That blessing has continued by being part of the family of one of the most incredible radio stations (and staff) in the country - KUNC.
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