The Milk Carton Kids + Katie Pruitt will perform at the Boulder Theater on November 1, 2022
Listening to The Milk Carton Kids – Joey Ryan and Kenneth Pattengale – talk about their creative process, it’s easy to imagine them running in opposite directions even while hitched together. “Joey and I have a famously adversarial relationship,” Pattengale says. They dig into each other in interviews and on stage, where Ryan plays his own straight man, while Pattengale tunes his guitar. The songs arise somewhere in the silences and the struggle between their sensibilities. They are known to argue over song choices. They’ve been known to discuss everything from wardrobe to geography to grammar. But their singing is the place where they find space and the common identity that emerges from their combined voices. Challenging the conventions of melody and harmony is a strategy The Milk Carton Kids has consciously adopted. “Sometimes we change parts for a beat, a bar, or a note,” Ryan explains. “And it starts to obscure what the melody is and what the backing part is because we think both of them are strong enough to be on their own.”
“There are only so many things you can do alone in life that allow you to transcend your sense of self even for a short time,” Pattengale continues. “I am the lucky beneficiary of a life in which hundreds of times, day after day, I spend an hour that amounts to speaking a language that only two people know and doing it in a space with other people who want to hear it..
The Only Ones, the band’s new record (out now on the band’s own imprint Milk Carton Records in partnership with Thirty Tigers), finds Ryan and Pattengale performing a stripped-down acoustic set with no backing band. On The Only Ones, the duo returns to the heart of what animates them musically: the duo.
Ryan and Pattengale also recently hosted the 18th Annual Americana Honors & Awards for the second consecutive year, while the group was nominated for three Grammy Awards: Best Folk Album of 2013 (The Ash & Clay); Best American Roots Performance of 2015 (“The City of Our Lady”); and Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical, in 2018 (All the Things I Did and All the Things I Didn’t Do).
Over the past few years, life has changed dramatically for The Milk Carton Kids. Pattengale moved to Nashville, where he also produces records; Ryan is now a father of two and works as a producer on Live from Here with Chris Thile. A break from years of non-stop touring, Ryan says, has given “a space outside of the band that gives us perspective on what the band is”.
Katie Pruitt, a 27-year-old artist who recently released Expectations — a provocative debut album about being a lesbian raised Catholic in Atlanta — is about to enter her Saturn Return era, which means his life is gonna get weird. At least that’s what six-time Grammy winner Brandi Carlile tells her. “You’ll probably freak out,” Carlile said. “Just when you’re 30.” But, Carlile assures him, “I feel like the best records happened during those great precipices in life.”
It is here, in this great moment filled with so much uncertainty and turmoil, that Pruitt chooses to embrace the weirdness. Whether it’s delving deep into and questioning his spiritual identity on his podcast, “The Recovering Catholic,” or carrying his soul with his wit and wisdom every night on stage as part of his vast fall tour, or showing off her playful side with her next holiday song, “Merry Christmas, Mary Jane”, it’s clear that Pruitt is coming into her own and establishing herself not only as an incredible musician, but also as a artist with a real voice and a distinctive perspective.
Over the past year and a half and despite the pandemic (which hit the month following the release of his album), Pruitt has forged ahead, garnering praise and praise from the press and other artists, including Carlile, Ruston Kelly, Leslie Jordan, Bob Weir and many more. In addition to being nominated for Emerging Act of the Year at the Americana Music Association, Pruitt was highlighted as an “Artist You Need to Know” by Rolling Stone, one of “Slingshot: 20 Artists To monitor” from NPR Music and “Artists” from Southwest magazine. on the Rise” and has been featured on NPR Music’s “Tiny Desk (Home) Concert” series as well as “CBS Saturday Morning”.
THE CHILDREN’S MILK CARTON + KATIE PRUITT
Tuesday, November 1, 2022
Doors: 7:00 p.m. | Show: 8:00 p.m.
Tickets on sale Friday, July 29 at 10 a.m. HERE
$29.50 General Admission Seated | Reserved seated tickets at $35.00 plus applicable service charge