Boston-Based Bluegrass Outfit Mile Twelve Returns With A Refined Sound And Perspective On New Album, Close Enough To Hear

Article Contributed by IVPR | Published on Saturday, November 19, 2022

Leading up to the making of their new album, Mile Twelve—a flourishing act whose output has helped push the envelope of New England’s progressive bluegrass and string-band scene—learned a whole new level of perseverance, patience, and performance. “Mile Twelve made fast gains for the first few years, like shiny young bluegrass bands do,” says guitarist Evan Murphy. “We picked fast, sang high, and toured hard. Then it all crashed against the brick wall of Covid.”

Luckily for fans of the band, and of the broader genre, Mile Twelve is back—with two new members, to boot. Joined by Ella Jordan on fiddle and vocals and Korey Brodsky on mandolin, founding members Evan Murphy (guitar, vocals), Catherine Bowness (banjo), and Nate Sabat (bass, vocals) have just announced the fruits of their forced-hiatus and reformation; a brand new album called Close Enough To Hear.

Close Enough To Hear lets listeners in close to a band that decided to continue after all of that heartache—a band that’s grown up a bit too. The vocals might be softer, the viewpoint a little weathered, but there’s no chasing of metronomes here, no tuning of vocals. Mile Twelve decided to stand back up and keep going, quietly delivering what very well may be its best album yet.

Yesterday via Folk Alley, Mile Twelve debuted their new album’s title track “Close Enough To Hear,” a tenderly sung and tightly played ode to being separated from loved ones. I was desperately missing my three-year-old nephew, my brothers, my sisters-in-law, and my parents,” says Murphy. “This song was a simple visualization of a perfect day, and what we were all missing so much at that time.” While Murphy tends to find it easier to write from the perspective of other characters rather than from his own point of view, “Close Enough To Hear” is all very personal. “It spilled onto the page immediately after I did a morning Metta meditation, calling to mind people who I love,” he remembers. Though originally written in the early days of lockdown, the song has a timeless quality that will certainly resonate with any and all listeners who are missing someone.

Fans can watch the music video for “Close Enough To Hear” now at this link and pre-order or pre-save Close Enough To Hear ahead of its February 3rd release right here.

Mile Twelve have a few more shows left in 2022, all of which can be found listed below or at

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:


Johnny Oklahoma

Close Enough To Hear

Red Grapes on the Vine

Light of Angels

Hopping Around Telluride


Anywhere Town

Take Me As I Am

If Only

Catch Mile Twelve On Tour:

Nov. 19 - Lake Purdy, NY - Westchester Bluegrass Club

Dec. 2 - East Syracuse, NY - Folkus

Dec. 3 - Poughkeepsie, NY - Hudson Valley Bluegrass Association

Jan. 20-22 - Anchorage, AK - Anchorage Folk Festival

For ticket information and future dates, please visit