'Miracle vendor' is the title of a painting created by an artist friend of singer/songwriter/guitarist Jack Petras. 'He really inspired me when he was struggling to become known...living in an old warehouse, junk all over the place, and these tremendous, hauntingly beautiful paintings taking shape,' says Petras. 'His example was and continues to be an important reference point for me.' That painter now fetches up to five figures per painting So where is Petras now?...On the verge of releasing a new CD with his band Miracle Vendor. Miracle Vendor was formed out of the thriving Atlanta music scene with Mike Talbot on drums, Billy Gewin on bass, and recent addition, Matt Ulmer on lead guitar. The band hooked up with fellow Atlanta musician/producer Rick Beato to take the wheel in the recording studio. 'Rick's music background is nothing short of stunning ...he could produce virtually any genre; his instincts were so sharp through pre-production, tracking, and mixing. We had a great time making this CD.' So, the inevitable comparison question...who do you guys sound like? The band has four songs on garageband.com and have received comments comparing them to Collective Soul, Goo Goo Dolls, and Tonic. 'That's fine with me,' says Petras, 'I respect those bands artistically and commercially.' Influences? 'Probably everything you've ever heard will influence you one way or another. I have been influenced by some artists to never want to sound like them... who and what I don't want to sound like probably shaped me stylistically as much as the artists I admire... I really appreciate spacious, soaring melodies and rich textures and layers in the recordings of U2 and Oasis... Sting's songwriting has always been amazing; The raw emotion of Kurt Cobain's writing is one of the reasons he connected so well...he lived and wrote his truth. We don't sound like any of these artists specifically but somewhere in that huge melting pot of influences, I suppose they are there. In any event trying to sound like someone is a waste of time. At a given moment a song either resonates with a listener or it doesn't. It's that simple...and musical taste is incomprehensibly subjective. It's amusing to watch the categorizing process that goes on in the industry.' One thing the band did while finishing their CD was upload 4 songs on the garageband.com website, an internet new music site. Listeners (mostly other musicians) rate and compare two songs at a time...and the preferred song moves up the ladder. 'This turned out to be a great barometer for our songs...one of the singles 'Be It All' was recently the #3 song overall and #1 in the pop-rock genre. Listener reviews were overwhelmingly positive for all four songs and we received over 100 written reviews for each 'Be It All' and 'Angels & Energy'. 'I was surprised by the response to 'Angels & Energy' since it was going to be one of the deeper cuts on the CD. Now, after the response on garage band I wouldn't be surprised if it did well with the general public.' The band is about to start radio promotion in advance of the album's release. 'Going to radio makes sense at this point.' With the band's solid songwriting and accessible sound they could easily find mass appeal with a number of singles on the upcoming album including 'Be It All', 'Not Myself', and 'Beneath the Stars'. Review of 'Miracle Vendor' by Michael Allison, The Musicdish.com 'After spending an entire evening listing to this album over and over, I've come to the conclusion that Miracle Vendor is definitely a band worth the attention of the masses. This is one very solid and well constructed pop/rock act that can most certainly run with the big dogs. One can usually tell by the first two or three songs on an album if the band sucks or not. Miracle Vendor understood that and put their best music forward. Not only that, the music remains strong throughout the entire album. That is not only surprising, but greatly appreciated. Very few of the albums that I receive warrant a second play through, but this album received several. I don't often get the chance to hear music that pulls from so many generations and genres, and comes out sounding so smooth and like it was meant to be. This album is certainly worth the listen. I am almost certain that it will end up on your purchase list. Especially if you like music like that of Goo Goo Dolls, Tonic, and bands of that style. The Rundown Lyrics/Songwriting: 4 STARS Production Quality: 5 STARS Musicianship: 4 STARS Originality: 2 STARS Over All: 4 STARS.