CD Review: Miles Maxwell “Red Ghost”

Miles Baltrusaitis had, at one time, a desire for creating music. But that desire had been put on hold. But after not writing anything for almost a decade, he called upon a few college roommates to help create a band that would bring his songs to life. Soon enough, Miles Baltrusaitis began working on an album but chose to use a different moniker. The name chosen by Baltrusaitis was a result of his first name and his middle name. The resulting name is Miles Maxwell and the resulting album under the Miles Maxwell moniker is entitled Red Ghost. Along with writing the songs that appear on the album Red Ghost, Miles Baltrusaitis provides Vocals and Guitars to the release.  

Of course, Miles Baltrusaitis is not alone on his new album. Together with Miles Maxwell Baltrusaitis, the rest of the ensemble consists of: Steve Kingwell on the Bass along with Dan Stankiewicz on Keys as well as Dan’s brother Matt Stankiewicz on the Drums. Baltrusaitis brought the Stankiewicz Brothers into his ensemble because of the fact that both of the brothers had already been veterans of the Chicago Music Scene as they had spent time in the band My Blue Valentine. The result is an ensemble that helps to bring the Red Ghost release from Miles Maxwell to life.

Red Ghost from Miles Maxwell begins with the song “Snapdragon”. The track features a Rock and Roll feel that revolves around the piano and acoustic guitar that blend together to create a track that would have been right at home in the seventies. With the piano and acoustic guitar blend, there are hints at influences such as Elton John or Billy Joel, but mostly, the track feels like something from Todd Rundgren. And while the track does feel a tad dated in its musical delivery, fans of music from the seventies will much to enjoy with this track.

The new album from Miles Maxwell continues with the song “I Can’t Be Myself,” a definite anti-love song. The lyrics about hiding one’s true feelings so the one you’re with doesn’t know what you’re actually thinking are matched up with music that contains a Folk-Rock feel to it. Because of the light feel of the track, it matches up well with the previous song on the album as “Snapdragon” comes across as laidback, just like “I Can’t Be Myself” does.

For the next track, Miles Baltrusaitis and the rest of the band changes musical directions and creates a song that contains a funky feel to the keys on the track. The slightly funky feel to the song “She Says (Whiskey Down at 4AM)” gives the music a Pop-Rock style that works well with the lyrics to the track. When listening to the lyrics of the track, you can hear a hint of Barenaked Ladies influence that would have come from that band’s song of “Hello City” in the vocal delivery from Miles Baltrusaitis while at the same, there is also a slight hint of an influence from The Band in the actual music of the song.

The band changes the direction their music is taking with the next track entitled “Something New,” a title that seems to describe that change of direction. With “Something New,” the band shifts gears and takes on a rather strong Country influence to the music. The definite twang in the music and the energetic pace to the music brings to mind something that would have been created back in the seventies or eighties when the age of Classic Country was in full swing. The timeless feel of the Country music on the track will surely please fans of the Classic Country style of music.

In a real change of pace, the quartet creates an instrumental track on the song “Jenever (In Acquia)”. The track that barely lasts longer than two minutes is a Bluegrass/Folk-Rock hybrid that brings to mind the style of the song “Jessica” from the Allman Brothers. As this track contains no lyrics, the listener gets to experience the true talent of the quartet of musicians since there are no lyrics to get in the way of the music on the track.

On the song entitled “Terrible Song,” the band once again changes directions, this time to create a song with a straight-out Rock and Roll approach. And while the track solidly into the Rock and Roll genre; it contains a gentle feeling to the music, creating a song that would be more than welcome on an Adult Contemporary radio format. “Terrible Song’s” lyrics seem to add a hint of humor to the album as the lyrics describe the way the song has turned out since it supposedly was written (according to the lyrics) after some bad things had taken place, creating a situation for which the lyrics help to describe.

The album of Red Ghost from Miles Maxwell comes to a close with the title track of the release. “Red Ghost” finds Miles and the rest of the band creating a song based around the idea of what is left behind when a relationship comes to an end. The slow-paced Folk-Rock infused track deals with a man who is looking back at what has come to pass as the memories in his head seem to create visions of a woman who once was in his life. The sad lyrics and slow pace of the music combine to create a track that brings the album to a close on a soft note.

Red Ghost from Miles Maxwell is a solid Americana release. The nine tracks that make up the album all combine to create an album that changes directions multiple times. With the various tracks, the listener gets to hear many different sides to the band’s personality as a whole. For those who like variety in the music, you won’t do better than with the Red Ghost album from Miles Maxwell.

For a taste of the new album from Miles Maxwell, check out a “live” performance of the title track of “Red Ghost” 

For more information, check out Miles Maxwell’s PR firm of Whiplash PR & Management by clicking on the logo for the company.

 

 

 

 

 

To purchase a copy of Red Ghost from Miles Maxwell, click on the album cover below: