Milagro Saints


Bristol Herald Courier

Like leaves clutched to a gnarled branch from the tree of music as planted by Bob Dylan come Raleigh’s Milagro Saints.Raw as Dylan’s voice, the Milagro Saints aim to rise up at the Down Home in Johnson City on Nov. 16. Led by lead singer SD Ineson, the rock-ing ragamuffins come bearing gifts of new songs and two decades of odes as polished as rust.


Anger is an energy, sang John Lydon, and some righteous fury seems to have jolted Milagro Saints on the Raleigh band's eighth LP,Stranger Times. The record barrels open with "Shadow Man," which inveighs against rapacious fracking companies on personal terms and heaps ire on those who live to exploit the earth.

For a band that often occupies a musical space somewhere between jam-band comfort and folk-rock taste, the song deploys a welcome sense of urgency. A similarly righteous anger—married to a Bo Diddley beat and riveting slide work—animates a fiery cover of Woody Guthrie's "Deportee," written about a 1948 plane crash that killed mostly Mexican migrant workers. With all this talk of walls, the take is all the more powerful.

It's not all gloom. The burnished vocals of romantic shuffle "Heart Painted Red" sounds uncannily like the once-lost legend Rodriguez and his clean Cali pop, lifted by a lilt borrowed from vintage Van Morrison. The blues stomp "Rail Rider" roars with passion, although it sounds as if the lyrics were added only to suit the mood. "Another Country," or what the band terms "cosmic Americana," keys on lovely glints of steel and phased mandolin. With a suitably tipsy groove, the New Orleans tribute "Ruby Moon" ends the LP with an excessive build—righteous energy spent, hair suitably let down, lolling in the fecund source of American musical tradition.



Milagro Saints trade in the expansive territory of folk music...TUPELO references the birthplace of Elvis, a spot near the breeding ground for many of the Southern blues and roots rock traditions the Saints freshen and hitch to Ineson's hooks

"Out Of The Box" WHRV FM/NPR 89.5, Norfolk VA

Its good to have a song called "American Radio" to play on my show!"

WNTI 91.9, Hackettstown NJ

"Tupelo is on my regular playlist- Blind Love Blues is my favorite track!"

IKON (Sweden)

Toe-tapping, hook-laden, commercial – without being overtly pop. Hints of Los Lobos, John Hiatt, early Eagles, even Tom Petty – but the distinctive lead vocal avoids direct comparisons. Excellent!"


KDHX 88.1 Concert Review

Six-piece Milagro Saints kicked off with a Tejano-flavored take of Guthrie's "Blowin' Down This Old Dusty Road," the melody rooted in Lee Kirby's piano and Smitty on lap steel. There's a hint of the band's mid-'90s alt-country beginnings lingering in its music, thanks to the density created by such a crowd of musicians. It's a bigger, more groove-filled sound than most folk rock, sometimes veering into jam-band territory.

The Saints interspersed originals among the Guthrie covers like "Pennsylvania Rose" that stay true to their original sound. But it was their Guthrie covers that highlighted their versatility.

roots music report

a congenial jam-band vibe and the warm-spirited songs of guitarist/vocalist S.D. Ineson make for a set that grabs the ear quickly and serves up some instantly memorable tracks. Ineson's unassuming but always-attractive melodies are buoyed by the Saints richly textured, broad and breezy grooves; the band's three fret-board players meshing masterfully with keyboardist Lee Kirby. The chorus hooks of Gonna Rain Again and These Things "About You" are about as radio-friendly as they get but this is definitely a disc where each song is attention-worthy.

5 STARS *****

Flyin Shoes Review

For me, the best numbers are the more succinct ones, enjoyable as it can be to hear these guys flex their musical muscles. The love song These  Things (About You), for example, keeps it sweet and simple, whilst the funky rock of Midnight Flame is catchily enjoyable

Indy Weekly

"With careful textures and strong melodies, the songs certainly stick on Chance & Circumstance"…environmental call to action "Don't Give It Up" deserves its seven minutes. This activist epic is built on a masterfully solid groove"

Americana Radio Show

Heartfelt, funky, and just a little bit trippy in the spirit of

Donna The Buffalo. That’s how I’d describe the

Milagro Saints’ latest release, “Chance & Circumstance”.

These veterans of the roots music scene have transcended

the crowd they sprang from into a band that

creates Americana that’s deceptively modern. Whether it’s

the mandolin riffs setting a easy going roll or a well timed

accordion riff at just the right moment, they know how to

pay homage to traditional music without being limited by it.

The band bristle with unstoppable energy and collaborative invention

Durham Herald-Sun

Stephen Ineson, the chief vocalist and songwriter for the Raleigh-based band Milagro Saints, said he and the band find themselves in a good place these days. In late 2008 the band released "WarmSoulSunshine," and recently released a limited edition CD titled "Blue Halo Valentine." They are working on a new set of compositions, and later this year might release a live recording that Ineson said shows off the band's more improvisational side. They recently added a new bass player, David Kaminski of Carrboro. "He volunteered his services after we played at Weaver Street Market," Ineson said during a phone interview this week. Milagro Saints also are becoming more musically integrated as a band, he said. Music listeners can hear some of what Ineson is talking about this weekend, when Milagro Saints plays at Centerfest and the Carrboro Music Festival.

There's some fine writing on this album (highlights being "A Million Times" and "River of Love"

Metro Magazine

"A constant feature of the songwriting is a superb tuneful literacy"

Woody Guthrie Festival

A Breakthrough Group

The Rogovoy Report

Its hard not to think about the way Sandy Denny harmonized with Ian Matthews or Linda Thompson did with Richard Thompson when listening to how the voices of Joyce Bowden and SD Ineson flow through and around each other with the grace and beuty of ballet dancers on "Sunday" the terrific 3rd album by Milagro Saints

Durham Herald Sun

The tunes are articulate and full of imagery

Urban Tulsa Weekly

Sweet rugged folk