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Miles Nielsen

  • Rebecca Rego & The Trainmen
Somewhere between a bar and the recording studio, Miles Nielsen’s stirs up his own pop rock brand of Beatles-eque Cosmic Americana. Pop rock arrangements and sunny melodies tucked between a long lost country folk steel guitar floating through speakers around crashing drums, bouncing bass lines and smooth as butter keys. Born in Rockford, IL, home of Cheap Trick and ‘Symbol’, power pop DNA runs through the veins of his songs and performances. 13 years spent playing bars, clubs and theaters, Miles has played and performed as vocalist / lead guitarist in many midwestern bands from past to present, Harmony Riley, HMS, and as a member in the Appleton, WI via Rockford ensemble, Cory Chisel & The Wandering Sons.
The differences between Miles Nielsen and his father, Cheap Trick's Rick Nielsen: Miles writes gentler songs that break your heart and ice up your windshield, he also plays on a guitar with one neck instead of six
Aside from opening for acts such as Medeski Martin & Wood, Cake or Moe., he also co-owns a recording studio in Rockford, IL, FUSE, that has served as the recording home to Cory Chisel & The Wandering Sons. He has worked with many artists such as Augie Meyers, Lonnie Brooks, Gabriel Reed, Cheap Trick, and The Good Year Pimps. From writing and performing his own tunes to recording and performing on other artists songs, Miles Nielsen continues to help carry out that very rare rock n’ roll torch that only few can claim out loud, “that sound?… it came from the midwest.”
"A singer-songwriter talking about trains. Here we go again," Rebecca Rego cackles, acknowledging the cliché she and her new band, The Trainmen, have not so inadvertently fallen into. The Wisconsin native dubbed her debut outing with Kankakee Co. boys Matt Yeates (drums), Eric Fitts (bass, mandolin), and Cory Ponton (guitar, banjo) after a downstate village built around the Illinois Central Railroad, where the street signs bear the names of its revered employees. The 10 sparkling tracks on Tolono reflect Rego's migration from her six years as a bartender/performer in bustling Chicago to a new beginning as a performer/wife in languid Champaign.
Likening her Trainmen trio to Bob Dylan's The Band, she also credits the lifelong buddies with coloring in the contours of Tolono's most tender moments and elevating the rambunctious ones. "They all have such a good idea of what a song needs. They aren't trying to overshadow each other and I think their friendship helps that," she says.
Rego has been making waves across the folk world in the Midwest and beyond and has shared the stage with such folk greats as John Hiatt, Rodney Crowell, Sarah Jarosz, Joe Pug, and many more.