Chris Milam brings his "Another Cup of Coffee Tour" to Red Light Café! The Last Tycoon, and Kristen Englenz open the show.
Chris Milam’s story isn’t one of the wandering troubadour; it’s a story of an artist finding his way home.
Let’s start in the middle. While studying music and English lit at Vanderbilt, Milam took his self-described “songwriting major” to the stage. Gigging heavily in Nashville, Milam’s ear for melody and gift for storytelling quickly earned a collegiate fan base and critical acclaim for his debut album, Leaving Tennessee. Two years of regional touring and a breezily-catchy EP, Tin Angel, caught the attention of Music Row and its many publishing houses.
After weighing his options, Milam decided to follow his own path. Armed with no connections, one bag, and a guitar, he moved to New York City’s East Village. It was there he made an artistic breakthrough; 2009’s Up garnered a rabid NYC fan base and enough Paul Simon comparisons to fill a Paste issue. Though finding success on the island, Milam knew it was only part of the puzzle: he needed to hit the road. Again.
So he did. Over a hundred dates in 2010; 150 in 2011. Somehow, he found time to record Never In Love in his hometown of Memphis, Tennessee with Jeff Powell (Afghan Wigs, Lucero, Cory Branan). Once there, he found what he’d been missing all along: a home.
In 2012, he moved home to Memphis and recorded his latest EP, Young Avenue. The record is inspired by Memphis as a place to grow up, as a place to leave, and a place to find what you’ve been looking for all along. It tells a story — Chris’s story — as only an artist with his songwriting gifts and experience can. It exists somewhere between late summer and early fall; between Ryan Adams and Van Morrison; between adolescence and adulthood. It sounds new and familiar at once.
It’s the sound of coming home again.
The Last Tycoon is the musical project of Georgia-based songwriter, John Gladwin. Hailing from the hills of rural Arkansas, Gladwin learned to play in the churches and juke joints of the Deep South. But it didn’t take long for him to be bit by the bug of wanderlust; at eighteen, he headed east to Nashville, where he worked as a guitarist and songwriter. After the gold rush ended and the Great Recession struck in 2009, he moved to Stockholm, Sweden, where the band recorded and toured for the last three years. Singing songs of love and execution, judges and Cherokees, Jesus Christ and Johnny Cash, The Last Tycoon stood out in the Swedish indie pop scene with cowboy boots, string ties, and songs steeped in Southern lore.
European tours inspired Gladwin to dig deeper into this American roots and to tell stories that can only come from the New World. In 2012, Gladwin returned to America; he now calls Georgia home. In October 2012, he released the first single, “The Ballad of the Bloodstained Bible”, a haunting tune that recalls the tragic tales of Southern Gothic literature. The single is currently available as a digital download, and the full album will be released later this year.
Kristen Englenz is a singer-songwriter from Decatur, GA. In 2008 she was awarded a scholarship to play french horn and piano at the University of North Carolina Asheville. After graduating in 2012 Kristen moved back to Atlanta and began playing out in local venues such as Eddie's Attic, Red Light Café, Everett's Barn, and Smith's Olde Bar. In 2012 and 2013 Englenz donated her songs "Bells" and "Northern Star" to the Decatur and Asheville Poverty is Real Compilations. Englenz performed at Poverty is Real's Decatur and Suwanee benefit concerts.
Atlanta-based musician Bill Taylor of the Bitteroots recently wrote: "Kristen is a fresh face on the Atlanta music scene and brings an open vulnerability to the stage. At recent club shows, the audience finds themselves hanging on to every word and chord progression coming from this authentic talent. Merging sounds from artists like Stevie Nicks & Joni Mitchell, and then blending with a modern alt-country angle, this singer-songwriter has a promising career on the lighted stage."