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|Miles Zuniga||Primary Artist, Bass, Guitar, Piano, Keyboards, Vocals, Moog Bass|
|Bruce Hughes||Bass, Background Vocals, Human Whistle|
|Kevin McKinney||Acoustic Guitar, Background Vocals|
|Jeff Plankenhorn||Slide Guitar|
|Brian Beken||Fiddle, Mandolin|
|Justin Sherburn||Piano, Keyboards|
|Miles Zuniga||Composer, Producer|
|Brendan Rogers||Executive Producer|
|Bob Mackey||Executive Producer|
|Jose Salinas||Executive Producer|
Posted October 12, 2011
It's tough to sound ballsy on a topic as emasculating as a break-up, especially from a first-hand point of view.
Miles Zuniga broaches the well-covered subject with more raw emotion than venom on his first full-length solo project, These Ghosts Have Bones, an 11-track CD, digital download and vinyl record (!) released Sept. 27, 2011.
Zuniga provides an unfiltered look into his broken heart on These Ghosts Have Bones; the album's title stemming from lyrics on masterful opening track "Marfa Moonlight" ("I wake up all alone/These ghosts have bones"). "Wicked" punches a soulful jab ("She's wicked/Wicked and cruel/Oh, she'll make a fool of you") and "Working on a Love Song" tells the true-to-life story of Zuniga writing a tune on the road only to return home "Just to find that you were gone." Most heartbreaking is the Adam Levy co-penned "Now She's Just a Shadow," written after the passing of Levy's wife: "Happy times, well now they're through/Don't you be afraid to step into the light."
From the pained "Feel It in Your Kiss," on which he pleads, "You should leave me if you want to be free/But baby please don't tell lies to me," to the wounded "Elizabeth," featuring the lyrics "Right now I don't really care/To ever see your face again," Zuniga taps into the feelings we've all felt on both sides of relationship failures.
This isn't uncommon ground for the veteran frontman, whose recording history dates back to 1991 (Big Car) and whose canon of songs includes epistles such as Fastball's "This Is Not My Life" ("You took away my world/You took away my smile/You took away my life/You took away my reason to live") & "Our Misunderstanding" ("Has turned into a war"); as well as The Small Stars' "Girl Trouble" ("When you put away all the plans you made/And you drink every night to forget her") & "Love Is Grand" (Love will break your heart/Love will make it rain/Love is/A pain in the ass").
Perhaps most noteworthy about These Ghosts Have Bones is Zuniga's well-chosen "supporting cast" in addition to providing his own superb vocals, guitars, piano, keyboards, bass and moog bass. TGHB features fine performances from no fewer than 9 fellow musicians and 3 co-writers, drawing heavily from the native Texan's collaboration with Austin-based band The Resentments (Bruce Hughes & John Chipman artfully back up every track). Zuniga also blends beautifully with the flawless Brian Beken on "Working on a Love Song" (mandolin) & "Junkie Hands" (fiddle); and enigmatic jazz singer Kat Edmonson on "The Weatherman." Mixed by the legendary Bob Clearmountain, TGHB is a well-crafted and well-orchestrated "record/therapy session."
Zuniga also used a team concept to bankroll his project through online fundraising site Kickstarter, bringing in $27,355 from 153 financial backers. In return for their investments, donors received a variety of rewards including demos from Zuniga's song-writing past. These "bonus" discs provide a glimpse into the gut-wrenching process through which TGHB developed.
Although one of his best compositions, "Hopelessly Blue," didn't make the final cut, Zuniga ends the album with "You Can't Break My Heart" and gives the listener hope for an equally ear-pleasing follow-up to this impressive solo debut.