The Milk Carton Kids

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The Milk Carton Kids
The Milk Carton Kids.jpg
Appearing at 9:30 Club in Washington, D.C. August 2, 2012
Background information
Origin Los Angeles, California, USA
Genres Folk, Americana
Years active 2011–present
Labels Milk Carton
Members Kenneth Pattengale
Joey Ryan

The Milk Carton Kids is an indie folk duo from Eagle Rock, California, consisting of singers and guitarists Kenneth Pattengale and Joey Ryan, who formed the group in early 2011. NPR has described their approach to music as "gorgeous contemporary folk"[1] and "Gillian Welch & David Rawlings-meets-Simon & Garfunkel with a splash of The Everly Brothers", which fairly represents the band's music while also appealing to the intended audience.[2] The band has recorded and released three albums: Retrospect, Prologue, and The Ash & Clay. Both of the forewords to "Prologue" and "The Ash & Clay" were written by singer-songwriter and producer Joe Henry. The band is noted for releasing their albums for free and for playing their vintage guitars with Ryan on a 1951 Gibson J45 and Pattengale on a 1954 Martin 0-15. The band's general manager is Nick Bobetsky.


Artists Ryan and Pattengale formed a duo after Ryan attended a solo performance by Pattengale in their shared hometown. "Both had long and largely unsuccessful careers as solo performers behind them, and each had reached a professional crossroads", which led them to form the musical duo now known as The Milk Carton Kids.[3] The Milk Carton Kids released Retrospect, a live album recorded in Ventura, CA, in March 2011. Retrospect predates the band name, and was released under Kenneth Pattengale & Joey Ryan. After performing at SXSW in March 2011, The Milk Carton Kids joined Joe Purdy's North American tour as his opening act and backing band.[4]

The Milk Carton Kids released Prologue, their first studio album and the first release under the band's name, on July 19, 2011.[5] Following Prologue's release, The Milk Carton Kids headlined a North American tour.[6] From Prologue, their song "There By Your Side" was named National Public Radio's Song of the Day.[1] The San Francisco Chronicle referred to Prologue as "bittersweet and beautiful."[7] "Grammy-winning piano-pop star Sara Bareilles gave the band a tremendous boost via Twitter by stating ‘Do yourself a favor and pick up the Milk Carton Kids’s new record. Wow’”.[2] This social media compliment gave The Milk Carton Kids a stronger fan base and increased popularity within the indie music realm. Both Prologue and Retrospect are offered up for free download on The Milk Carton Kids' website.[8] By the end of 2011, fans had downloaded the two albums over 60,000 times for free, by February 2014 this figure had reached 275,000. [9] Prologue was chosen for the year-end lists of Daytrotter,[10] American Songwriter,[11],[12] and others.

The Milk Carton Kids have performed on National Public Radio's Mountain Stage,[13] Daytrotter,[14] and were guest DJ hosts on Sirius/XM's folk channel The Village.[15] The duo toured on July/August 2012 with Old Crow Medicine Show (supporting their new album Carry Me Back) and The Lumineers. The tour visited such cities as: Louisville, Cincinnati, Nashville, Richmond, Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, New York City, Boston, and Atlanta.[16] In the fall of 2012, they toured America again with L.A.-based Leslie Stevens opening and in November 2012, they began their tour with the Punch Brothers.[17] In December 2012, three unreleased tracks ("Snake Eyes", "The Ash & Clay" and "Jewel of June") were featured in Gus Van Sant's film Promised Land, starring Matt Damon and John Krasinski.

On March 26, 2013, the band’s album ‘’The Ash & Clay’’ was released on ANTI- records.[18] Promotion for the album included touring with Austin-based artist Sarah Jarosz and a November taping of Austin City Limits.[19]

On April 11-12, 2014, The Milk Carton Kids collaborated with Joe Henry and Over the Rhine for a two night live performance & recording of all new songs inspired by "the Great American Songbook."[20] An album of the collaboration may be forthcoming but no date has been set at this time.


Retrospect Album.jpg


  1. Retrospect (2011)
    1. Permanent (5:10)
    2. Laredo (5:57)
    3. Broken Headlights (3:20)
    4. Charlie (4:01)
    5. Maybe It's Time (4:27)
    6. Trouble in These Parts (4:22)
    7. Girls, Gather 'Round (4:54)
    8. As It Must Be (4:38)
    9. Memoirs of an Owned Dog (4:08)
    10. Queen Jane (3:56)
    11. Rock & Roll 'Er (5:04)
    12. Lake Skaneateles (3:54)
    13. California (4:43)
    14. Like A Cloak (5:14)
Prologue Album.jpg


  1. Prologue (2011)
    1. Michigan (5:31)
    2. Undress the World (3:17)
    3. Milk Carton Kid (4:05)
    4. One Goodbye (3:13)
    5. No Hammer to Hold (3:13)
    6. There By Your Side (4:05)
    7. New York (3:33)
    8. Stealing Romance (2:50)
    9. I Still Want a Little More (3:12)


  1. The Ash & Clay (2013)
    1. Hope of a Lifetime
    2. Snake Eyes
    3. Honey, Honey
    4. Years Gone By
    5. The Ash & Clay
    6. Promised Land
    7. The Jewel of June
    8. Whisper in Her Ear
    9. On the Mend
    10. Heaven
    11. Hear Them Loud
    12. Memphis


  1. ^ a b Thompson, Stephen (2011-08-19). "The Milk Carton Kids: The Sweet Spot". NPR. Retrieved 2012-01-27. 
  2. ^ a b Armonaitis, D (2011-11-10). "Milk Carton Kids to Play Grey Eagle Tavern in Asheville, NC". GoUpstate. Retrieved 2012. 
  3. ^ Everret, Matthew (2012-08-22). "The Milk Carton Kids Take Folk to New Highs and Lows". MetroPulse. Retrieved 2012. 
  4. ^ "Joe Purdy & The Milk Carton Kids |". August 6, 2011. Retrieved September 18, 2012. 
  5. ^ "iTunes - Music - Prologue by The Milk Carton Kids". July 19, 2011. Retrieved September 18, 2012. 
  6. ^ "The Milk Carton Kids' Prologue Featured at". 2011-08-03. Retrieved 2012-01-27. 
  7. ^ Vaziri, Aidin (2011-08-14). "Why Milk Carton Kids are giving albums away". The San Francisco Chronicle. 
  8. ^ Guymon, Katie (January 25, 2012). "Pajammy Jam of the Day | The Milk Carton Kids - Michigan". Speakers in Code. Retrieved September 18, 2012. 
  9. ^ "The Milk Carton Kids Perform Live on NPR's Mountain Stage". Retrieved 2012-01-27. 
  10. ^ Daytrotter: The source for new music from the best emerging bands
  11. ^ "The Top 50 Albums Of 2011: Honorable Mentions". American Songwriter. 2011-11-29. Retrieved 2012-01-27. 
  12. ^ "Best CDs of 2011 - The Best Folk Americana and Bluegrass CDs of 2011". 2011-12-12. Retrieved 2012-01-27. 
  13. ^ "The Milk Carton Kids On Mountain Stage". NPR. Retrieved 2012-01-27. 
  14. ^ Daytrotter: The source for new music from the best emerging bands
  15. ^ "Yahoo! Groups". Retrieved September 18, 2012. 
  16. ^ "Congratulations To Old Crow Medicine Show On Their Career High Chart Debut!" Nettwerk Music Group, July 31, 2012.
  17. ^ Punch Brothers
  18. ^ "The Milk Carton Kids website". 
  19. ^ Template:Cite web "The Ash & Clay" received a Grammy Nomination for Best Folk Album of 2013.
  20. ^
  21. ^ a b c Van Vechten, Carl (2011-04-25). "The Milk Carton Kids". LOC. Retrieved 2012. 

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