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Milagro Saints

The Milagro Saints are a cosmic, literate folk rock band, with poetic songwriting and passionate performance. Formed in New York City in 1995, and then performing and recording for almost twenty-five years before a final show in January, 2020. Their eclectic sound was often described as soulful and funky Americana, “soulfolk” or cosmic americana, with melodies reminiscent of The Band, lyrics in the heritage of Woody Guthrie, Dylan or Neil Young, and live shows in the legacy of the Dead or Traffic. Like much classic 70s folk and rock, their music combined pop hooks with the sublime, speaking to the ecology, political and social justice issues of the times, the natural, mystical and plaintive, with a funky, innovative danceable and accessible sound.

The frontman and principal songwriter for the Milagro Saints, Stephen Ineson, hails from Sheffield, England, and after touring the U.S. with the Jack Rubies (TVT Records) he returned to New York City in 1995, where he met Lee Kirby, Joyce Bowden and Richard Negri. Those last three were hosting a weekly jam session in Hell’s Kitchen. Soon they were all performing around the city as the Milagro Saints. Lee, Joyce and Stephen soon moved to North Carolina and recorded their first album for Moodfood Records (Whiskeytown’s first record had just been released by Moodfood). Many other albums followed on Moon Caravan Records, with wide airplay and recognition on the Roots and Americana charts, and the band became known for performance, opening for 10,000 Maniacs, Rusted Rood and Donna the Buffalo, among many others, and playing festivals such as the Berkshire Mountain Music Festival, the Lowell Music Festival, Festival for the Eno, the Shakori Music Festival and three appearances at the Woody Guthrie Music Festival.

Some things that have been said about the band:

Like leaves clutched to a gnarled branch from the tree of music as planted by Bob Dylan, come Raleigh’s Milagro Saints.

Tom Sutherland Bristol Herald Courier

Righteous anger—married to a Bo Diddley beat and riveting slide work—animates a fiery cover of Woody Guthrie’s “Deportee”. The blues stomp “Railrider” roars with passion.

David Klein Indy Weekly Raleigh NC

Grabs the ear quickly and serves up some instantly memorable tracks. Ineson’s always-attractive melodies are buoyed by the Saints richly broad and breezy grooves.

Duane Verh Roots Music Report


Here’s a discography, followed by a list of band members and contributors associated with the various albums:

1 “Milagro Saints” (eponymous) (Mood Food Records) 1997
2 “Midnight America” MCR – 1999
3 “Sunday” MCR – 2001
4 “Let it Rain” MCR-2003
5 “Warm Soul Sunshine” MCR – 2008
6 “Blue Halo Valentine” MCR-2009
7 “Songs on the Live Wire” MCR – 2010
8 “Chance and Circumstance” MCR-2013
9 “Mighty Road Songs” MCR-2013
10 “Tupelo” MCR-2015
11 “Stranger Times” MCR – 2016
12 “Signs on the Road” MCR-2018

The Milagro Saints had many lineups over the years!

1997 – 1999: Stephen Ineson, Joyce Bowden, Lee Kirby, Robert Shi, Ernie Jamison

2000-2001: Stephen, Joyce, Lee, Jason Graves, Scott Demattos

2002-2003: Stephen, Joyce, Lee, Tim Paradaens

2004 – 2008: Stephen, Joyce, Lee, Ed Root

2008-2012: Stephen, Lee, Ed, Roberto Morales, David Kaminski, Paul Smith (Smitty)

2012-2013: Stephen, Lee, Roberto, Paul, Steve Samosky and Rusty May

2013-2015: Stephen, Lee, Roberto, Paul, Steve Samosky and Jick wins-Low

2016-2020: Stephen, Lee, Roberto, Steve S, Jick and Steve Bowen

Here’s the big list of musicians, what they played and on which records:

Stephen D. Ineson (vocals, acoustic guitar) (all)
Lee Kirby (piano, organ, harmonica, melodia, accordion) (all)
Joyce Leigh Bowden (vocals, guitar, clarinet) (all)
Roberto Morales (guitar, mandolin, lap steel) (5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12)
Jick Wins-Low (electric guitar, vocals, mandolin, fiddle, trombone, trumpet, saxophone, bongos, arrangement and production) (8,9,10,11,12)
Steve Samosky (bass) (8,9,10,11,12)
Steve Bowen (drums, vocals) (11, 12)
Paul Smith (Smitty) (lap steel, dobro) (5,6,7,8,9,10)
Edouard Root (drums and vocals) (4, 5, 6, 7)
David Kaminski (bass) (6,7)
Rusty May (drums) (8)
Richard Bowden (fiddle and mandolin) (2,3,4,5)
Richard Negri (bass in original NYC band) (2)
Tim Paradaens (drums) (3)
Scott DeMattos (bass and fretless bass) (2)
Ernie Jameson (bass) (1)
Robert Shi (drums) (1)
Ernie Brooks (bass) (3,4)
Jason Graves (drums) (2)
Jerry Kee (vibes) (2,3)
Mark Caserta (guitar in original NYC band)
Cimmaron (Clark Aflague) (performing member in early Raleigh)
Thom Canova (organ) (5)
Karen Delahunty (backing vocals) (11,12)
Greg Elkins (pedal steel) (11)
Leonidas Kirby (cello) (4)
Karen Kletter (backing vocals) (4)
Rick Lassiter (bass) (4)
Will McFarlane (electric and acoustic guitar, bass) (5,6)
Charles Pettee (mandolin) (4)
Royden Saah (bass in early touring band)
Sean Timmons (trombone) (2)
FJ Ventre (bass) (3,5)
Kevin Bobal (didjeridoo) (5)



SD Ineson with lead vocals and guitars
Lee Kirby on hammond and other keys
Steve Bowen on drums and background vocals
Roberto Morales on electric guitars and mandolin
Steve Samosky on bass

Joyce Bowden, a founding member of the band, also joins for the occasional recording and performance