Buddy and Julie Miller
Buddy and Julie Miller
Review by Steven Stone
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CD Stock Number: Hightone Records
The family that sings together swings together. If that family is the Millers, they do more than just swing; they rock, shimmy, shake,
frug, gyrate, and quiver. For readers unfamiliar with this dynamic domestic duo, Buddy Miller is a sideman extraordinaire, lately with Emylou Harris' Spyboy band where he not only supplied blistering hot guitar licks but impeccable backup vocals. Julie Miller fattens their connubial checkbook with songwriting royalties for singers like the Dixie Chicks, Lee Ann Womack, Little Jimmy Scott, and Hank Williams III. Julie has done two solo albums while Buddy has three, all on Hightone records. This is their first duo album, and after a listen or two you will wonder why they waited so long.
Julie and Buddy serve up hardcore roots country music spiced with modernity that sounds both new and ancient. Their music demonstrates a complete understanding of what makes music primal and vibrant. Beginning with their treatment of the Richard Thompson gem "Keep Your Distance", the Millers deliver an edgy performance that reminds me of the last stormy days of Richard's musical partnership with his ex-wife Linda. Eight original songs, seven by Julie, and one Miller collaboration, join tunes by Utah Phillips, Richard Thompson, and Bob Dylan. My favorite original is "You Make My Heart Beat too Fast", a nasty number that is a musical amalgamation of country, garage, and swamp rock, with a touch of punk thrown in for attitude. Buddy contributes a screaming, snarling guitar solo that would make even Keith Richards jealous.
To further enhance the intimate homegrown feeling of this CD, Buddy recorded it in his own home studio, affectionately named
"Dogtown". Spyboy band mate, drummer Brady Blade, joins Gary Talent, Byron House, Joey
Spampinato, and Rick Plant on bass, Phil Madeira on Hammond B-3, and Tammy Rodgers on mandolin. Buddy and Julie handle the lead vocals, and Buddy performs all the guitar tracks. Emmylou Harris adds her uniquely melodious harmonies on one song, "Forever Has Come to an End."
Buddy and Julie Miller is so musically addictive, that it's hard to let a day go by without putting it into a CD player. But unlike chocolate or cognac, if you binge on
Buddy and Julie Miller it will only do you good.
Sound Quality: 90