Despite what their title might imply, The Milk Carton Kids  are not a gang of tragic youth rescued from long forgotten cardboard dairy cartons. Armed only with acoustic guitars, they’re a folk music duo from Eagle Rock, California, consisting of Kenneth Pattengale and Joey Ryan, and their music is swiftly being hailed as the second coming of contemporary folk. You might want to pipe up and decree that Mumford & Sons own this title or, perhaps, The Lumineers, but we can assure you that in the sternest of definitions of old-school folk (down to their vintage 1950s guitars), The Milk Carton Kids are the realest of deals. They’re already being compared to Simon & Garfunkel, due in part to their arrestingly harmonious dual melodies and deft guitar arrangements, but upon further listen they’re not too shabby at spinning a lyrical yarn either.
They’ve toured with the Punch Brothers, Old Crow Medicine Show, Over the Rhine and K.D. Lang. They were favorites at the 2013 Newport Folk Festival and their performances have been featured on “Conan,” NPR’s “Tiny Desk Concert” series and “A Prairie Home Companion.” In fact, radio personality Garrison Keillor, who has repeatedly featured the duo, has called Pattengale and Ryan “absolute geniuses in close-harmony.”
One part Simon & Garfunkel, one part Gillian Welch & David Rawlings, and one part Smothers Brothers, The Milk Carton Kids' melancholic harmonies intertwine beautifully, while their playful, deadpan banter is worth the price of admission on its own.
Brian Wright supports. Like other Texas-bred troubadours - Townes Van Zandt, Lyle Lovett, Steve Earle, Hayes Carll - Wright's music at once marries folk, country, and rock music while defying all three. "When people ask what I sound like I usually say I'm somewhere between Woody Guthrie and Velvet Underground," he says. Wright's songs can be intensely personal and surprisingly simple, while still packing an impressive punch. His narrative folk songs will be of interest to fans of Steve Earle, Gillian Welch, Mary Chapin Carpenter, and Townes Van Zandt. His more rocking material will interest fans of Drive-By Truckers and Wilco.