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New band wears influences




Members of Letcher County’s new folk-rock band Wayne Graham are, from left, bassist Charlie West, drummer Hayden Miles, and singer-songwriter Kenny Miles. (Photo by Sally Barto)

Members of Letcher County’s new folk-rock band Wayne Graham are, from left, bassist Charlie West, drummer Hayden Miles, and singer-songwriter Kenny Miles. (Photo by Sally Barto)

Two Letcher County brothers and a friend sing lyrics about faith and lessons learned from family in their debut album.

“It kind of documents the way a family faces situations,” said Kenny Miles, front man and primary songwriter of the band Wayne Graham. “We all face it together. We put God first and it makes that situation easier to get through.”

Kenny Miles, 20, and his 15-year-old brother, Hayden, of Mayking, co-wrote many of the 13 tracks on “Ripe Old Age”, which should be available for purchase at Hometown Music, The Way Christian bookstore, and on iTunes by the end of March.

Hayden, a freshman at Letcher County Central High School, plays drums and sings while 27-yearold Charlie West, of Cram Creek, plays bass.

Musical influences vary for each band member. West lists highly-acclaimed professional bass players Billy Sheehan and Victor Wooten as his top favorites, while Hayden listens to British alternative rock band Elbow and admires drummer Thomas Pridgen of The Mars Volta. Kenny likes singer-songwriter Paul Simon, and alternative bands Wilco and My Morning Jacket.

The trio categorizes its music as folk/rock.

Several family ties can be found in Wayne Graham including the band name, which is in honor of Kenny and Hayden’s grandparents. The song, “Evelyn”, is named after their grandmother. “Evelyn’s Prayer” records a weekly ritual that has meaning to the brothers.

“Every Sunday we go and eat dinner at my grandma’s house,” said Kenny Miles. “It’s something that is important for me to hear each week.”

Kenny Miles attended recording school after he graduated from LCCHS and then tried community college for a semester.

“I want to play music my whole life,” said Kenny Miles. “I tried other things but I can’t focus on that. I can’t take my mind off of music long enough to give it a chance.”

Their parents, Kim and Ken Miles, built a recording studio in the basement of their home where “Ripe Old Age” was recorded. The brothers have dubbed the studio Fat Baby Studios.

Hayden, who has been playing music for six years, and Kenny, who has been playing music for 11 years, have been making music together for about a year. They play in a praise band at Truth Ministries with West and decided to ask him to join Wayne Graham.

“I’m just lucky to be along for the ride,” said West.

Jason Griffith, LCCHS band director, played coronet on a song, Ken Miles played saxophone, and Rhonda Gordon played flute on a song on the album.

“It’s mostly stories about making it through tough situations,” said Kenny Miles. “They aren’t all necessarily true stories. Really, in all of them they end on a good note.”

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