A songwriter’s songwriter, known for his lyric craft, distinctive voice and soulful songs steeped in classic rhythm & blues, pop, jazz and country, Milton first gained notoriety in his hometown New York City when his song “In The City” became a hit on New York’s WFUV radio. His live performances, which include material from every one of his albums, are praised for their wit, humor, and captivating charm.
Milton has toured extensively throughout the states since 2005, as a headliner and appearing as support for Joan Osborne, Steave Earle, Sonny Landreth, Colin Hay, Kat Edmonson, Josh Ritter and many more. He raised over $30,000 on Pledge Music for the making of his most recent CD The Lady at the Bottom of the Hill. In addition to four full-length albums, he has gained a following for his blog (all about classic recordings, music history and songwriting). Milton has spent a good part the last year opening shows all over the country for his friend and mentor Chris Smither.
I’ve spent a good part of my life in the library, a good part of my life in music venues and a good part of my life next to the record player. I grew up like most American suburban kids in the 1980’s, watching MTV and listening to top 40 radio. I also raided my friends’ parents’ record collections for all of the cool old stuff they had. “The Harder They Come” was one of the first albums I loved and it’s still one of my favorites. My songwriting heroes have always been the really smart ones who write great poetry over great tunes: Bob Dylan, Paul Simon, Irving Berlin, Randy Newman, Nick Lowe, Bob Marley. My favorite singers were always the real churchy ones: Sam Cooke, Marvin Gaye, Roberta Flack, Ralph Stanley, Dolly Parton, Toots Hibbert, The Staples. I also love raspy, intimate rock singers like Rod Stewart and Paul Westerberg. More than just about anything in life, I love a tune that you can’t wait to hear again, a story that takes you somewhere and a singer that you can feel in your heart.
I started hanging out in Greenwich Village when I was 12 or 13, looking for old records, checking out poetry readings and watching punk rock matinees at CBGB. My brothers had a band and I was often their roadie. I went to college and studied English and Spanish literature in New York City. I still live there today. I love the city very dearly. I love the country too, but I feel most at home in downtown Manhattan.
I started filling up notebooks with little rhymes and verses from a very young age. In high school and college, I’d write songs in class while the teachers lectured. I started playing my first gigs in coffee houses and bars, wherever I could. I only knew a few chords and I knew nothing about singing. I was lousy but I got better. I learned a lot on the job. I sent my first demos to a club called the The Living Room and soon I was a regular performer there. I put together a band to back me and we played all over the place. I was playing a solo set at a music conference in Florida when I got approached to make my first album. I sent it to my local radio station WFUV and my song “In the City” got a lot of airplay. Since then I’ve played a lot of gigs in a lot places and put out three other albums. I’ve written and recorded a lot of songs, I’ve played on TV and on radio stations around the country and I wrote the score for an HBO movie.
Just like when I was a kid, I’m still filling notebooks with rhymes every day and freaking out about great writing and great songs. You can hear echoes of a lot of my old records in my stuff, whether it’s blues or country or Nick Lowe or Jimmy Cliff or any number of things. I love keeping the roots alive in my music and I love the intimate experience of a song. I’d like to write a thousand more songs and play a thousand more gigs. You might see me on stage singing by myself, with a trio or with a six piece band. In whatever format I play, I’ll be going for something intimate and honest, trying to catch a good groove and tell you the story with all I’ve got.