FolkWorld #76 11/2021

Across the Western Ocean

Happy 10-Year Anniversary to Prologue

The Milk Carton Kids

Artist Video The Milk Carton Kids @ FROG

Our first album, Prologue, came out 10 years ago. The 3-vinyl Anniversary Box Set that’s out now shows the process not just of the album being made, but of our new band forming. Package includes new cover art, writing demos, live versions, and a retrospective essay by Kim Ruehl. Pick it up from our site or at your local record store.

The Milk Carton Kids

The Milk Carton Kids "Prologue - 10th Anniversary 3LP Box Set", Thirty Tigers, 2021

In North Hollywood in April of 2011, on a 5-day break in a 2-month tour, The Milk Carton Kids recorded Prologue — their first studio album. They used four microphones, two guitars, and their two voices. After its release on July 19th, the band would go on to play thousands of shows, dozens of festivals and television appearances, and garner three Grammy nominations. 10 years on, The Milk Carton Kids have become stalwarts of the global folk scene even as the world has changed around them.

The Prologue 10-Year Anniversary Deluxe Box Set pulls the curtain back on this seminal album, featuring original iPhone writing demos, early live versions, rehearsals, photos and other ephemera from the band’s formative days.

According to Joey Ryan: “We wanted to commemorate this milestone for anyone who has loved Prologue, of course, but also for ourselves. Those early days were such a blur, but we kept so much of it in iPhone recordings, posters, ticket stubs, tour laminates. Putting it all together got pretty emotional. This was the album that changed our lives.”

This anniversary edition is accompanied by an original essay from author and music critic Kim Ruehl describing the state of folk music in 2010 when TMCK came on the scene, as well as their contribution to it.

“Considering all that was happening in the recording industry during the demise of MySpace and the rise of Twitter—an atmosphere in which literally anyone could record at home on GarageBand or ProTools and throw their music up for an audience to find—Ryan and Pattengale made a different impression. Though they were clearly a couple of guys in costumes on a stage, they may as well be sitting in the living room, speaking in clear, poetic strokes about how they worry for the future and can’t let go of the past—two themes that have rooted folk music for the past few centuries.”

Photo Credits: (1) The Milk Carton Kids, (2) "Prologue - 10th Anniversary 3LP Box Set" (unknown/website).

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