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These Magnificent Miles: On the Long Road with Red Wanting Blue


An adequate telling of a great story

Stephen Carradini April 4th, 2011

Most bands give up. It’s rare to see a band put out more than three or four albums without any support whatsoever.

thesemagnificentmiles

Rock band Red Wanting Blue has put out eight totally independently. They’ve also played more than 2,000 shows in 14 years. People all over the country know their songs and sing them back at shows. Why has this band not gotten signed? (It’s not for lack of trying.)

First-time documentarian Ken Davenport’s “These Magnificent Miles” asks the question, but doesn’t even attempt to answer it. Instead, it gives a neat history of the rock band, shows their admirable dedication to the craft, and follows them around through the process of recording, releasing and trying to find a label for their eighth release, also titled “These Magnificent Miles.”

The documentary features a great deal of the album’s tunes, and they are really great mature pop/rock songs. “U.S. Bumper Sticker” is an especially passionate rocker, while “You Are My Las Vegas” has “radio single” written all over it. Just in hearing the band, I echo the many fans who are interviewed in brief clips: “Why isn’t this band huge?”

The story itself is very documentary-worthy, but Davenport’s freshman hand doesn’t imbue the proceedings with much drama or weight. It’s a very adequate telling of a great story, but it’s not as riveting as other rock documentaries.

The extras are scant, but entertaining: The goofy deleted scene is great, while a music video from the mid-’90s is so horribly dated that you have to chuckle. The current-era music video for “Where You Wanna Go” is surreal, but fun.

For those who like rock docs, “Miles” the film is decent. But you really should check out Red Wanting Blue’s impressive “Miles” the album. You can help them get huge! Just listen and then tell everyone you know (you’ll want to anyway). —Stephen Carradini

 
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