Plans include to see the entire catalog newly available on digital.
By Fred Mills
Miracle Legion: that name strikes a particular chord among a subset of indie music aficionados, both of the ‘80s college rock stripe the ‘90s alternative era. A few years ago BLURT paid tribute to the band, in fact, along with frontman and cofounder Mark Mulcahy. But the band split up in ’96 in the face of a frustrating affair with their record label, with Mulcahy moving on to acclaim as a solo artist and with Polaris (of Pete and Pete TV show fame). Meanwhile, his guitar-slinging foil and cofounder Mr. Ray (Ray Neal) also went solo but eventually seemed to dip off the radar.
Against all odds, the band is getting back together to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the M.L. swansong, 1996’s Portrait of a Damaged Family. They plan to reissue the album on vinyl on April 16 for Record Store Day and then will tour the U.S. and the U.K. in July and Auigust. In addition to Mulcahy and Neal, bassist Dave McCaffrey and drummer Scott Boutier will be on hand to help resurrect the group’s classic part-jangly/part-revved-up sound. Below, list to a live acoustic version of the track “Homer” from the Portrait album.
They also plan to reissue the entire back catalog digitally as well via Mulcahy’s label Mezzotint.
“Getting back with Miracle Legion was something I never thought about,” Mulcahy said, in a statement. “We always lived by ‘never say never,’ and so this is some perversion of that shitty motto. Even when we were together, there were many, many times I hated it so much I couldn’t think it would last another day.
“We finally drove ourselves off a cliff, and I thought that was it. However, you didn’t see us die, and now we have crawled back up the mountain towards insanity once again. Damaged but operating. I give us a 50/50 chance. Thank you all for watching.”
“I’ve always had a feeling of unfinished business,” Neal added. “The wrong business won the first time around. There is still more to do. I’m excited for Portrait to have a proper release. I don’t think many people knew it came out the first time. I’m not sure I did! Unfortunately we never toured or did anything with it. We were all lost.”
Lost, but found once again, Mr. Ray. Speaking as a veteran of numerous M.L. shows back in the day (I have the bootleg tapes to prove it), I cannot wait.
You’re My Blessing
Say I Had a Lovely Time
I Wish I Was Danny Kaye
Accidentally on Purpose
Good for Her
Gone to Bed at 21
7.13 – Columbus Theatre, Providence RI
7.14 – The Linda, Albany NY
7.15 – Bell House, Brooklyn NY
7.16 – The Ballroom at The Outer Space, Hamden CT
7.17 – The Sinclair, Boston MA
7.21 – Iron Horse, Northampton MA
7.22 – Lincoln Hall, Chicago IL
7.23 – Codfish Hollow, Maquoketa, IA
8.16 – The Hope and Ruin, Brighton
8.17 – Òran Mór, Glasgow
8.18 – The Deaf Institute, Manchester
8.19 – Green Man Festival, Brecon Beacons, Wales
8.20 – Oslo, London