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Style Weekly
February 5, 2003

Michael McAdam
A Million Miles
Permanent Records

Richmond native Michael McAdam’s first solo release hips listeners to his versatility. A player who has done his share of road and studio guitar-work with some of Nashville’s best, including Steve Earle and Mary Chapin Carpenter, McAdam’s fretwork was previously the focus. But “Miles” gives McAdam a chance to stretch out as a writer, singer and producer, as well. From the first cut through the last, he displays a great ear for melody and a thoughtful lyrical approach that could surprise some who only know him as the soulful guitarist in Richmond’s Good Humor Band. “One Good Day” gets the set off on the right track with a measured acoustic-based prayer to the heavens, while “Thanks A Lot” follows with a wicked, rocked up, no-holds barred assault on a poor soul who wronged our protagonist. The projects only cover, “The Lion Sleeps Tonight,” gives Mike a chance to showcase his slinky-smooth slide guitar. “Suzanne” and its perfect ‘60s Burt Bacharach trumpet part brings a smile to the lips as it quietly captures memories of unrequited love. The title track’s lyrics border on cliché, but McAdam’s warm voice sells the songs familiar sentiments with conviction. “Little Things” is a gorgeous, slow tune, perfect for lonely nights of reflection, and it’s perhaps the best of the set. A couple of tracks come up short, but overall “Miles” is a terrific and wildly diverse batch of songs that gets better with every listen.

- Ames Arnold  

Available online at CDBaby
or at Plan 9 Records and Tower Records in Richmond, VA

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