By Amy Reitnouer (BluegrassLA)

Milk_Carton_KidsI can't forget the first time I heard the Milk Carton Kids. A friend had sent me a sampling of songs from their 2011 album Prologue (which you can still download in its entirety for free via their website), and from the haunting opening chords of Michigan I was hooked. Kenneth Pattengale and Joey Ryan's intricately woven harmonies and sweet and lilting tunes play out like a soundtrack to a life.

Recently, The Milk Carton Kids returned to their native Los Angeles with a sold-out at show at Largo at the Coronet.  Before their show, Joey was gracious enough to answer a few questions for BluegrassLA...

AR: What are your musical backgrounds?

JR: Kenneth grew up studying cello and I the clarinet. How much that classical training influences what we do now is questionable, though I'd venture to guess that Kenneth's history has been much more beneficial to him than mine has to me. When it comes to our current duo, the background comes from the tradition of players and writers that we've admired, as we're both largely self-taught on both the guitar and vocal instruments.


Border Radio Rubs Shoulders
with the Sundance Festival 2012

By Kelly McCune

PCTV3Many months ago we applied for a showcase opportunity that would take place during the Sundance Film Festival 2012 in Park City, Utah. Access Film Music, an independent organization that puts musicians in front of film and television executives, hoping for connection, hosts the showcases. We found out in late November that we had been selected, and started figuring out how we were going to get there!

Two of us flew, the other two drove, with all our gear. That solved the instrument transportation problem. We stayed in a condo and cooked most of our meals, which cut down on the expense.

We knew Park City would have snow – it is a ski resort -- but we didn’t count on two feet of it falling all in one day. Our first day. Enough snow to make us flatlanders a little jittery. Other people with worthy vehicles were sliding off the road. But we managed.

Read more: Border Radio Sundance