Miracle Legion were a Connecticut-based band that immediately sprang to life on the heels of a post-R.E.M. guitar rock boom, chiefly because lead singer Mark Mulcahy's voice bore an uncanny resemblance to Michael Stipe's, and the arpeggio guitar structures were akin to Peter Buck's. But the band -- Ray Neal (guitar), Jeff Wiederschall (drums), and Steven West (bass), and later just Mulcahy and Neal -- ultimately became unique in its own right. The Backyard EP, released by the small Incas Records label in 1984, was an immediate college radio hit, and the band rode high on its popularity for some time. It took until 1987 to get Surprise Surprise Surprise out on Rough Trade, and they were unable to capitalize on the initial buzz; the tone was no longer so sprightly. The follow-up, 1988's Glad, was a collection of originals and some live tracks recorded with Pere Ubu. By 1989, Mulcahy and Neal were working as a duo and released a savvy acoustic album titled Me and Mr. Ray on Rough Trade. Having abandoned the R.E.M. sound, the band found its own direction as a country-rock duo. Drenched arrived in 1992, followed by Portrait of a Damaged Family in 1997, the latter of which was released on Mulcahy's own Mezzotint Records. In 1999 Mulcahy released a solo album, Fathering, as well as music for Nickelodeon's The Adventures of Pete & Pete. He continued to record solo into the 2000s, putting out the I Just Shot Myself in the Foot Again EP (2000) and the full-lengths Smilesunset (2001) and In Pursuit of Your Happiness (2005). ~ Denise Sullivan, Rovi