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Reggie Miles
Reggie Miles
Discrimination's Fires
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02/19/17 @ 09:42 PM     post a comment
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'Discrimination's Fires' a Political Folk/Blues by Reggie Miles
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Reggie Miles...

Songwriter, Singer, Storyteller, Slide Guitarist and Sawplayer

Turns trash into musical treasure, his own homemade Nobro resophonic guitars, constructed from repurposed junk culled from garage sales, swap meets, thrift stores...

Earthy vocals, Delta style bottleneck slidin' and the rhythmic moans of harmonica combine, while foot stompin' abounds, to create an Acoustic Roots Blues sound as authentic as you'll hear north of the Mason Dixon Line.

An aficionado of storytelling, tall tales are intricately woven effortlessly into the fabric of music and songs

A Folk/Blues fingerpicker of whimsical found and self-penned songs

A virtuoso in the musical folk art of bowed hand saw melodies.

An award winning songwriter, recording and performance artist who has gained multinational media attention via recent compositions like, "Wall Street Bailout Blues".

Featured in a half dozen documentary film and video projects, on the recordings of more than a dozen Northwest artists, in addition to 21 self produced recordings since 1995.

What others are saying about Reggie Miles...

"Channeled Bukka White, Furry Lewis, Robert Johnson, Ken Kesey, and Salvadore Dali." (Brian G)

"Traditional bluesie - brilliant... A mixture of Bluesey, jazzy, juggy, eclectic stuff... Solid" (Rick Fielding)

"Shel Silverstein meets Leonard Cohen" (Anon)

"Country blues with a novelty twist....a down home gravely voice and a driving slide guitar." (Chris Lunn, Victory Music Review)

"I've been to LA. I've been to New York. I've been to San Francisco, Chicago, Memphis, Kansas City and New Orleans and I have never heard anybody like you!" (Anon)

"Tom Waits meets Screamin' Jay Hawkins. Great music!" (Chris)

"Reggie Miles in my humble opinion is great! It just does not get any better than this. What a talent! Oh, and by the way, I love the sound of that 'resonator guitar' he uses!" (Ron Ryan, Ghost writer for The Dave Clark Five)

"One part Sonny Terry, one part Tiny Tim, three parts Mister T" (Amos Jessup)

"Extremely entertaining and downright fun! Wonderfully wacky... Reggie Miles has succeeded in capturing the vaudevillian essence of depression era blues. Amazingly eerie, bizarre, interpretations featuring Reggie playing a saw." (Diane Wells)
Why this name?
Here's a funny story. I was about to play my first gig at this place in Tulsa and had decided to use a stage name, Reggie Mason. Then, the owner of the club informed me that they already had a solo artist, who dressed like me, physically looked similar to me and even played the same sort of music that I was offering. Guess what his name was? Reggie Mason! (Weird, huh?) So, I changed my stage name selection to Reggie Miles.
Do you play live?
Yes, I play live. My performances have included events across the country but mostly in and around the Pacific Northwest. I enjoy entertaining more than I can easily express. There are an endless number of special moments that I could describe. Perhaps they might be better left for a more in depth recollection.

Every performance can hold magical moments when the energy created by the performance artist and that of the listening audience combine to produce results beyond expectation. The lives of both the artist and audience can and do change in the process.
How, do you think, does the internet (or mp3) change the music industry?
The mp3 file format has allowed performance artists to more easily offer their music to listeners via this online internet medium. This file format can decrease the size of a sound file, via a specific compression technique, so it can be more easily offered, (uploaded and downloaded) via the internet, without significant loss of fidelity.

The internet is able to reach beyond any borders or limitations, that have been inherent within the industry, to touch a worldwide audience of listeners. Therefore, it can offer independent artists an increased level of exposure. Listeners, that previously were unable to have access to the music of artists that had no affiliation with industry sources, now find that they can enjoy a far greater scope of musical artistry from artists the world over.

Anyone with a basic knowledge of how to access this medium is able to bring their music before countless listeners via an ever increasing number sites, like SoundClick, that host the musical endeavors of artists online. This exposure has enabled those, who would have otherwise gone unnoticed by the music "industry", to gain a larger measure of success in their musical pursuits. The internet has given each artist the access to the tools that they need to shape their own destiny and the power to compete on a global stage. There are no longer any limits to what one can achieve.

I've entered online recordings of my solo acoustic fingerpickin' Folk/Blues songs in competition with hundreds of other solo artists and bands of every description and had my musical endeavors voted #1 by listeners. So, I'm definitely a believer in the internet as a means to bring attention to my musical arts.
Would you sign a record contract with a major label?
Yes. The challenge seems to be finding the right label. A keen sense of clarity of purpose is needed in making this decision. Entering into a relationship with a major industry label brings a great deal of additional focus to one's efforts. Focus is an important key to the success of any musical endeavor. The utmost care should be taken to ensure your direction aligns with the goals represented by the label or the combination will not bear fruit for the label or the artist. I've heard some fairly scary stories about such deals.
Band History:
I am originally from the gritty inner city of Chicago's south side but for the last 30 years or so, I've been living and performing in and around the upper left corner of the country (The Greater Pacific Northwest region). Occasionally, I take jogs about the rest of the lower 48.
Your influences?
I've been most influenced by early blues, jugband, jazz, ragtime, folk, and hillbilly artists.
Favorite spot?
Seattle is a very nice place to live and why I presently reside in this area. I'm originally from the south side of Chicago, a very cool place to be from, given its background as a destination for so much of the Blues music that I love.

I've enjoyed the time that I've spent in Tulsa, where I got my higher ejamakashun degree and played my first few professional shows.

New Orleans was a simply magical place for me. I played some of the sweetest shows ever while hanging out there in the late 70s and early 80s. I met some wonderful players there too. I'd love to spend more time in New Orleans sharing my roots Delta style bottleneck slide Blues with listeners and visitors to that great music city.

Santa Cruz was where I met, the god of sawplayers, Tom Scribner, playing on the street. Listening to him play has been the single greatest influence in my determined efforts to tame the unruly blade. He recorded with Neil Young and was even invited to play with The Rolling Stones. I'm happy to follow in his footsteps. Who knows, perhaps someday they'll erect a statue to me, just like the beautiful bronze that was erected to honor his immense talents.

San Francircus was a hoot! I recently had the opportunity to revisit S.F. and after so many years of being away, I was surprised by how much it's changed. I was also very much bewildered by how inaccurate my memory was of certain recollections of my time spent there.

Minneapolis/St, Paul is another area that has held some very special memories. It's been a hub for so many great and talented players.

Even my brief visit to Hinton, West Virginia was very sweet!
Equipment used:
My instruments include my homemade Nobro resophonic guitar. I made it from junk that I found at garage sales. A brass door kick plate, piano soundboard, record player parts, vegetable steamer, baseball bat and a table leg are among the items used in its construction.

My Nobro Resophonic, I've used arrows and brief descriptions to indicate some of the miscellaneous recycled stuff used to create my Nobro resophonic guitar

I play a number of other venerable, six string, garage sale and swap meet finds as well.

In addition, I flex the 213 razor sharp spring steel teeth of a 30" Mussehl and Westphal baritone musical saw betwixt my knees. The pointy parts are mere millimeters away from body parts I hold both near and dear as I attempt to tame the unruly blade.

DareDevil Reggie Miles & the Hand Tool of Doom!

I blow rack mounted mouth harp along with my guitar, and also have a rack attached to my 1929 Maytag Special Custom Dixie Delta Deluxe Eldorado Rhythm Board (my washboard/sound effects gizmo) so I can play harp while scratchin' and scrubbin' mojo pre-cussion on the darn ol' thang.

1929 Maytag Special Custom Dixie Delta Deluxe Eldorado Rhythm Board
Anything else...?
When flexing the razor sharp spring steel teeth of a saw blade betwixt your knees it's always a good idea to remember that many body parts don't grow back.
Lincoln Theater
Reggie Miles Production Logo
Reggie Miles - Bottleneck Blues
Reggie Miles at 2013 Ebey Island Freedom Fest
Reggie Miles street performing by Eric Frommer
Reggie Miles @ Fremont Fair by Michael FitzPatrick
Reggie Miles Acoustic Roots Blues
Reggie Miles Acoustic Roots Blues
Bottleneck Folk/Blues Hound
Reggie Miles at the Chalet Theater
Reggie Miles at the 2012 Oregon Country Fair
Featured in The Wall Street Journal - by TL Jones
@ The Lincoln Theater - Photo by Susana Bonadea
@ Sliders Cafe photo by Leonard Carter
Reggie Miles QR Code
@ Seattle's Pike Place Market photo by T.L. Jones
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