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Monday, July 19, 2021

An Unexpected Treasure - The Missing Letters (MN)

The Missing Letters Throwing Down!

My musical ramblings over the past decade have taken me on quite a journey in pursuit of the very best in live, local music.   In my never-ending quest for "The People, The Places and The Music (In That Order)" I have met a blistering array of fantastic musicians, explored the very best in music venues and expanded my musical horizons beyond belief.  It was with much surprise and pleasure that--while attending a decidedly NOT "SemiBluegrass" (but none-the-less incredible) music festival last weekend (more about SummerBash Indiana HERE)--that I ran across The Missing Letters band from Minnesota. 

A last-minute addition given an opening slot on the first day and a short second-stage appearance the next, this group of young men were my pick for "breakout artists" of the whole festival.  Sure, they are musically talented...but all the bands there were.  What set them apart were those subtle intangibles that  that take most bands years to learn (and many never do).   First, the band had incredible stage presence: interacting with the audience effortlessly, feeding off the crowd's response and making that visceral connection to the music that all good bands do.  Furthermore, the band exhibited a level of professionalism on stage the stood in stark contrast to their age.   They apologized for a technical glitch, thanked the promoters frequently, gave a shout out to the other bands appearing after them and spoke positively about the whole event.  After their set, they could be seen manning their own merch tent, circulating among the crowd with some swag for their new fans, and even joining the crowd for a couple of the headliner acts right in front of the stage.  Their enthusiasm was infectious.  Personally, I found them well-spoken, enthusiastic and instantly relatable.

The Missing Letters' Most Recent EP
All of this is well and good, but what about their music?  Normally NOT my thing, but their mix of youth-oriented,  classic punk-based rock songs with heavy grunge undertones (and a little bit of a metal, power-chord edge) definitely grabbed my attention....so much so that I purchased their EP "Lucille" right after the show (and honestly, got home and downloaded their whole digital catalog as well).  The EP  has found a home in my car's CD player and boasts all the things that drew me to live music in the first place:  A TIGHT rhythm section, KILLER songwriting with something to say, GREAT Harmonies and DRIVING guitar riffs.   The title track "Lucille" is an infectious earworm of the very best sort that will have you humming along and tapping your foot for days!  For pure, raw energy, it's hard to beat the first track "Inmaniac".   Fans of their harder, darker sound will love "Conscience of a Badman" which contrasts nicely with the vocal-driven, almost pop-influenced "Anything But This".  The EP concludes with the decidedly grungy "Tonight".   All in all, this is an exceptionally well produced collection of music and impressively listenable...even to the casual fan.  Looking for something new and a little bit different?  Give The Missing Letters a listen--you won't regret it!

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