“Like heroin...incredibly addictive!” – a fan
Miriam’s Well is a unique blend of rock, pop and soul that holds echoes of decades gone by, when rock was raw, powerful and unprocessed. Singer and songwriter Mir German, the moving force behind Miriam’s Well, doesn’t play a set so much as embody it, pulling the music from a deeper place – a well of sound and images, emotion and power. Her voice holds a ragged edge of truth that brings depth and dimension to every song.
Mir and Mark Bowden, producer, co-writer, and lead guitarist for Miriam’s Well, are an inseparable team of groove and melody. What you get at a show isn’t just a performance...it’s an experience that dissolves the boundary between audience and band. It pulls you into the moment and holds you there. “We feel it and the audience feels it. If we didn't, we might as well stop playing.”
Mir has performed at clubs and festivals throughout the US and Canada. As a solo act she has shared stages with Shawn Colvin, Carlene Carter, Spencer Davis and Taj Mahal. Her first record, The New York Sessions was recorded in Woodstock and NYC.
After Mir moved to Portland, OR, a series of recording sessions for a demo EP led to the formation of Miriam’s Well. She joined forces with songwriter Lee Garrett (“Signed, Sealed, Delivered”) and Mark Bowden to create the songs for the band’s new CD Indians and Clowns, scheduled for a September 2009 release.
Mir’s roots are in the rocky soil of New England, where she started her career as a singer/songwriter in Cambridge, MA and as a street musician in Harvard Square. She quickly moved from venues like The Nameless Coffeehouse to the more well known Passim's. But her music was changing into a more rock and pop infused style. The songwriter venues werem't necessarily where she wanted be.
To get more exposure, Mir entered local singer/songwriter contests.”I was in the finals of this one competition where Christine Lavin was a judge. After the performance, she slid me a note that said ‘What are you doing here? You’re not a folk singer.’”
Whether or not that comment was meant as a compliment, Mir took it as one and began to pursue her own unique style. Persistence paid off when a competition she lost led to an invitation to open for Shawn Colvin in Cambridge. But after that it was back to the same venue circuit, even though she felt out of place. “I was stuck between two music scenes – the singer/songwriter venues were looking for folk musicians, and nobody was playing solo acoustic rock at rock venues.” Losing to a barbershop quartet roed to be Mir's breakthrough.
That contest opened up another opportunity, this time two shows opening for Taj Mahal at Nightstage. From here, Mir moved on to play the rock circuit as a solo acoustic rock act, developing her emerging style and recording The New York Sessions in Bearsville, NY. While opening for the Pousette - Dart Band she attracted the interest of their manager who sent her to New York to meet Eric Parker, drummer for Bonnie Raitt and Joe Cocker. They worked together for a while, laying down tracks on The New York Sessions. The record charted on college radio stations, receiving airplay throughout New England.
During this period Mir played with various musicians in NY clubs as well as some music festivals in the US and Canada, hovering on the edge of success but never quite breaking in. The alliance with her manager didn’t work out. Disappointment and doubt led her to turn her back on her music. She moved to Portland, Oregon not touching her guitar again for three years.
The road from there to Miriam’s Well was a series of synchronistic encounters, with disparate pieces coming together to make a whole.
Mir found herself back in the studio, this time as a songwriter. She assembled a band and created a five-song EP, called “Miriam’s Well,” with guest artists Curtis Salgado and Terry Robb coming in to lay down tracks. Although the EP was intended as a demo to promote Mir as a songwriter, some of the session players talked her into moving from the recording studio back to the stage, taking their name from the EP. They played a series of shows in the Roseland Theater in Portland, drawing the attention of David Leiken, owner of the Roseland and Double Tee Promotions. David looks forward to promoting the band when he can.
Around the same time, Mir met songwriter Lee Garrett. Mir and Garrett clicked immediately, writing three songs together the day they met. That number grew to over 50 songs over an 18 month period. Garrett also introduced Mir to Stevie Wonder, who is considering one of their songs for an upcoming record.
It was an ad on Craigslist that led to the last major piece of the puzzle. Mark Bowden answered Mir’s ad for a guitarist, hailing from her old stomping grounds of Boston. Mark became the third member of the writing team, and the key creative force in recording the catalogue of tunes written by German/Garrett and Bowden. Mir says, “Musically, Mark added a crucial spark to every tune. He’s truly a brilliant writer, player and producer.”
Miriam’s Well recorded 23 of the new songs at Falcon Studios in Portland. Indians and Clowns is scheduled for a September 2009 release.
“Miriam’s Well is one of the most exciting bands to come out of Portland in a long time. Miriam’s unique soulful and bluesy voice is complemented and highlighted by the backing of a truly outstanding band...A force to be reckoned with...
- Robyn Shanti, host of The Dharma Well on KBOO 90.7FM, Portland, OR
“When you listen to hundreds of new releases every year, it’s refreshing to hear one that has soul and lots of feeling...Miriam’s Well hit that spot for me. Check it out!”
- The Big B.A., KINK Radio 101.9FM, Portland, OR
“Miriam is a kindred spirit...the real deal. She lives and breathes her art. Miriam’s music is
a unique layering of emotions and musical imagery...coming from her heart.”
- Carol Batchelor, KUPL Radio, Portland, OR
“Miriam’s Well is totally refreshing!”
- David Leiken, owner of The Roseland Theater/Double Tee Promotions
“...like heroin...incredibly addictive.”
- a fan at Mac’s in Silverton