Punk Rock Americana sextet 500 MILES TO MEMPHIS has signed to Paper + Plastick for a vinyl release of their genre-bending magnum opus Blessed Be the Damned, which is set for an August 9th release as well as a digital release paired with a smoke, oak, and green leaves scented candle that encapsulates the music and the stories that it tells. In addition, the band will be kicking off their Midwest and East Coast outing today at Midwest Punkfest in Bloomington, IL then circles around Tennessee, Ohio, Kentucky, and Pennsylvania including two performances at Musikfest in Bethlehem, PA leading up to their vinyl release party at Fountain Square in Cincinnati, OH.
“To me, it’s finding the truth and hope through pain and loss,” explains vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Ryan Mallot. “Whatever shit life throws your way, be it self-inflicted or not, you keep pushing and come out on the other side with an experience that’s your own. I personally carry a lot of regret, pain, and anxiety for a life that was damn near wasted on drugs and alcohol. Friendships ruined, loved ones lost, and opportunities squandered, but it’s okay. You learn from it and grow.”
Their most recent effort Blessed Be the Damned was well-received and praised by many. New Noise Magazine declared, “Consider this their best album yet, and one of the first must-have records of 2019.” CityBeat confessed, “Still, one of the band’s most impressive feats is a more seamless blending of Country/Americana and Rock/Punk, a mix that is especially vibrant and powerful on Blessed.” The Lexington Herald reflected, “Over a galloping anthemic cowpunk charge, the Cincinnati band recalls the early days of the Old 97’s crossed with a Decemberists-inspired sense of expansiveness.” Maximum Volume Music boasted, “They don’t sound like anyone else. At all. Or at any point… 500 Miles To Memphis has constructed something wonderful here.”
The album was recorded at Gwynne Sound in Cincinnati with engineer Adam Pleiman and producer John Pedigo (Old 97’s, Vandoliers, The O’s). Philip W. Peeples of Old 97’s added percussion to a couple tracks (Save Me, I’m a Bastard). From the mesmerizing chant in the momentum-building opener “The River” to the bass-laden rocker “Hold on Tight” to the sing-along anthem “Bonnie” to marching drums and shouts of “I Said Babe” to the slow-paced emotional closer “I’m a Bastard” – 500 Miles To Memphis has crafted an album that blends roots rock with elements of punk, folk, and outlaw country.