September 29, 1958|
Cowansville, Quebec, Canada
|Origin||Ottawa, Ontario, Canada|
|Labels||Philo Records, True North Records|
Miles was born on September 29, 1958 in the town of Cowansville, Quebec. Her father was a harmonica player and jazz fan while her mother listened to both opera and country music. Miles learned to play the violin, guitar, piano and flute during her school years. She began composing songs at the age of ten and began performing at the age of sixteen. While in her twenties Miles studied voice with a private teacher and classical music history and theory at Carleton University in Ottawa.
Miles became a voice teacher at the Ottawa Folklore Centre. Her first recording of original material was a nine-song demo which she created in 1987. In the early 1990s Miles released a self-titled album plus an additional recording called Chalk This One Up to the Moon. Her composition "Remembrance Day" became part of a nationally televised video created by the Canadian Armed Forces. Miles' 1996 album, Slightly Haunted received favorable reviews in the New York Times and was a Billboard Top Ten Pick of the Year. In 1997 she released the album Night in a Strange Town.
Miles' reunited with collaborator and guitarist Ian LeFeuvre for her 2001 album, Unravel, which won the 2003 Juno award for Best Roots & Traditional Album of the Year: Solo. Miles was nominated in 2005 for a Canadian Folk Music Awards. In 2006 Miles recorded the album Love Sweet Love which was released in the U.S. on Red House Records. It was recorded with guitarists Ian LeFeuvre and Keith Glass, drummer Peter Von Althen, John Geggie on bass, James Stephens on violin. It was nominated for a 2006 Juno Award. In 2009, the Art Of Time Ensemble featuring Sarah Slean recorded Miles' song, "Black Flowers."
Her 2010 album Fall for Beauty was nominated at the Juno Awards of 2011 in the Roots & Traditional Album of the year category. Miles has re-recorded acoustic versions of her songs in a series called Black Flowers. The first two volumes were produced in 2008 and 2009 on her Cold Girl record label and later re-released by True North Records in 2009. A third volume was released in August 2012.New York Times music critic, John Pareles wrote that Miles' music "makes forlorn feel like a state of grace." In 2014 she produced the Lynne Hanson album River of Sand.