Miguel has whispered the words of his new album Slaughterhouse Road for years, trying to make sense of his childhood ghosts. Now, with this album, the whispers have transformed into evocative songs that capture the darkness and nature of the landscape, and his place within the barefooted tribe that called it home.”

 

Born in northern Australia, now living in Melbourne, Miguel picked up the guitar at 11 years old and has played ever since. Miguel would often rise at 4.30am to practise. Like most kids, he wanted to play fast and flashy, and after writing his first song at 16, soon realised narrative song writing is neither fast nor flashy; it is a craft that requires total and painstaking dedication. He set about learning the intricacies of rhythm and the mysteries of song writing with the albums of Delta Blues legends and 60s American and English folk singers as his teachers. His influences include the fingerstyle and rhythm guitar greats, John Fahey, Lightnin’ Hopkins, Howlin Wolf and Leo Kottke, and the writing styles of Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen and Johnny Cash.

 

Miguel is a beguiling story-telling guitarist, always giving space in his songs to powerful lyrics that speak of closed doors, magic men, replica pistols and the cold spaces that no fire can warm. Slaughterhouse Road has a pared-down grittiness, rich hypnotic timbre and heartbreakingly beautiful interludes of violin and mandolin by collaborators Ash Jones and Matt Stonehouse. Co produced by Greg O'Shea and recorded straight to tape in a small tin studio in Victoria, Australia, during the Capricorn eclipse full moon of July 2020. “We said we wanted that full moon madness and we certainly got all of that,” says Miguel. “It rained, stormed actually. The dog howled outside, but we kept playing and we got it all.”

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