The Milk Carton Kids

The amazing musical performances of these two fine musicians, coupled with their ample wit, make for a thoroughly entertaining evening of song and banter as previous tour reviews testify.

Traditionalist folk duo The Milk Carton Kids – Joey Ryan and Kenneth Pattengale – have announced their first Australian tour since 2015 and will play Melbourne Recital Centre on Monday 10 August 2020.

Listening to The Milk Carton Kids talk about their creative process, it’s easy to imagine them running in opposite directions even while yoked together.

‘Joey and I famously have an adversarial relationship,’ Pattengale says.

The songs emerge somewhere in the silences and the struggle between their sensibilities. They have been known to argue over song choices. They have been known to argue about everything from wardrobe to geography to grammar. But their singing is the place where they make room for each other and the shared identity that rises out of their combined voices. Defying the conventions of melody and harmony is a strategy The Milk Carton Kids have consciously embraced.

‘Sometimes we’ll switch parts for a beat or a bar or a note,’ Ryan says. ‘And that starts to obfuscate what is the melody and what is the supporting part because we think of both of them being strong enough to stand alone.’

The Only Ones, the new record, finds Ryan and Pattengale performing a stripped-down acoustic set without a backing band. On The Only Ones, the pair returns to the core of what they are about musically: the duo.

Over the past few years, life has changed dramatically for The Milk Carton Kids. Pattengale has moved to Nashville, where he is also producing records; Ryan is now the father of two children and works as a producer on Live from Here with Chris Thile. A break from years of non-stop touring, Ryan says, has yielded ‘space outside of the band that gives us perspective on what the band is.’

‘It’s apparent that they have the crowd in the palm of their hands with just their music — it’s so authentically old-timey but without the slightest sense of contrivance.’ The Music

‘Such charm, and prettiness, and pleasure.’ Sydney Morning Herald

Opening the show will be poet, vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Vera Sola.


The Milk Carton Kids
Monday 10 August 2020, 7.30pm
Elisabeth Murdoch Hall
Tickets from $59
Presented by Melbourne Recital Centre in arrangement with Love Police

Click here for more information and to book tickets.


Di Rolle | 0419 001 068