I totally dig the alt-country rock of Scott Miller. Upside Downside, his new one with his band the Commonwealth (Shawn McWilliams – drums, Eric Fritsch – keyboards, Park Chisolm – bass), has stomping roots-rock like “It Didn’t Take too Long” and “Raised By the Graves,” thoughtful folk-rock (“The Way,” “Red Ball Express”), ripping heavy blues-rock (“Pull Your Love”), jangly alt-rock (“Second Chance”), backbeat-heavy retro-rock (“Chill, Relax, Now” – think an instrumental version of Sheryl Crow’s “A Change Would Do You Good”), spunky Tennessee 3-type train-country (“Amtrak Crescent”), meditative country-rock (“Angels Dwell” with harmonies by Patty Griffin, “I’ve Got a Plan,” “For Jack Tymon”), and a little bluegrass (“Ciderville Saturday Night,” with Tim O’Brien on mandolin).
Miller has an appealing, plain and durable tenor, (sometimes reminiscent of a young Glenn Frey) runs a wildly ecclectic, tight band, and is a very fine songwriter in a variety of styles. This is an excellent album, as was its predecessor Thus Always to Tyrants.
And if that isn’t enough, Miller is now a blogger. I got this message from his web guy:
- Scott Miller is a Sugar Hill Recording artist. They’ve just released his single, “Amtrak Crescent”. Somehow he’s talked Amtrak into letting him tour from New Orleans to New York form the train. Give the guy some credit because who in their right mind would try to run a rock ‘n’ roll show by a train schedule!
Scott Miller left Knoxville today [1/19] to head down to the Big Easy where he’ll board the Amtrack Crescent and start his MULE TRAIN MMIV tour. While out on the rails, he’s gonna give bloggin’ a shot. From now ’til he gets to the Big Apple, Feb. 11, he’ll post diary entries, photos, etc. You can find his web log by going through his website, or by going directly to the blog
Spread the word, keep it rollin’, get out to see ’em if you can.
Better get to posting, Scott, nothing new since Sunday.
Good luck, have fun!
Here’s the tour schedule – check ’em out.
01/21 New Orleans, LA The Parish – HOB
01/22 Hattiesburg, MS Thirsty Hippo
01/23 Jackson, MS Hal & Mal’s Club
01/24 Tuscaloosa, AL The Booth
01/28 Birmingham, AL Workplay Theater
01/29 Atlanta, GA Smith’s Olde Bar
01/30 Greenville, SC The Handlebar
01/31 Charlotte, NC The Evening Muse
02/04 Charlottesville, Va Starr Hill
02/05 Union Station, Washington, DC @4:30
(yes the train station)
02/05 Arlington, VA Iota Cafe
02/06 Philadelphia,, PA NXNW
02/07 Hoboken, NJ Maxwell’s
02/08 Baltimore, The Royal Baltimore
02/11 NYC, Tribeca Rock Club