Alt-country and Americana quartet, The Miners, announce the release of their first full-length album, Megunticook (Match-Up Zone Music) on October 22nd. Named for the lake in Maine band leader Keith Marlowe has visited since he was a child, the ten original songs capture the songsmith’s sincere, authentic take on life experiences and highlight tight vocal harmonies, driving guitars and the undeniable country sound of the pedal steel. The band will celebrate the album’s release on October 29th with a performance at Jamey’s House of Music in Lansdowne, PA.
A labor of love, the origins of the album’s material date back to the early 2010s -- shortly after Keith took over as The Miners’ frontman. Megunticook (Muh-GUN-tuh-cook) opens with gentle ballad, “Without You,” inspired by the songwriter’s wife’s 2014 battle and recovery from breast cancer. Americana Highways premiered the single and enthused, “this song is an earnest love song written by Keith Marlowe in the face of real gut-wrenching challenges. His writing somehow manages to be both sincere and poignant, yet charming.”
Immediately following is “Leaving for Ohio” -- a heartland rocker that would fit seamlessly into a Crazy Horse set that laments his daughter’s growing up and leaving home to start her life anew at college. The early 70s country-rock groove of “Walnut Lane” offers a look back on the tree lined street where kids from the rich part of town would visit to buy drugs and “Natalie” paints a portrait of Keith’s grandmother as a vibrant woman that ultimately lost her life to dementia. “Call Me Up” dates back to the band’s beginnings and is a smooth, southern rocker. “Black Bart” recounts the life of the infamous outlaw stagecoach and train robber who used to leave poems behind and uses one of Black Bart’s actual poems for its chorus. “Apologize” is about the tension between a parent and child with the gentle reminder, “it’s never too late to apologize” and “The Day the Drummer Died” captures an untimely death of Keith’s high school drummer and is buoyed by a harmonica solo that reminiscent of Neil Young. The album’s penultimate “Baby Boots” is a honky tonk western stomper and the bluegrass-tinged finale, “Cardboard Sign” was inspired by a young homeless woman that Marlowe imagines is missed by her family back home.
“Megunticook is a big step up from Miners’ Rebellion with everything from songwriting, musical performances, production and final output all being at a higher level,” says Keith. “The songs, while written over a span of nearly ten years, have the thread of mostly my own personal experiences and feelings and capture the sound of the band I have been developing since taking over as frontman in 2009 (two years after the band’s formation). My songwriting and singing has developed over that time allowing me to expand the band’s sound from Miners’ Rebellion, though I am still proud of the songs from that EP and those songs fit seamlessly into our live sets alongside Megunticook’s tracks.”
“Though I started thinking about the follow up to Miners’ Rebellion in 2016 with band lineup changes and life events, it wasn’t until 2018 when demos were finally recorded,” the songwriter continues. “As I joke, 'this seems to have taken longer than Boston’s 3rd album to finally be released' considering the nine-year span between releases and me talking about our new upcoming album for past three years.”
In addition to their album release show on October 29th, The Miners will perform select dates in support of Megunticook including their sixth annual event at World Café Live benefiting breast cancer charities in January 2022. Since their inception in 2007, the band has played in many of Philadelphia’s premiere venues including World Café Live, MilkBoy Philly and 118 North and have supported national touring acts that include John Wesley Harding, Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers and Don Dixon. Megunticook is the follow-up to their critically lauded 2012 EP, Miners’ Rebellion.