28 June 2008

Enthusiasms (18) ~ Buddy Miller

Buddy Miller, March 2008 ~ Photograph © Thomas Petillo.

Not long ago I posted on the demise (at least in print) of No Depression; well, the final issue, #75, is out and the cover sports this portrait of the inimitable Buddy Miller. So, rather than issuing another lament, I will add Buddy to my list of enthusiasms. This post really is long overdue because I more or less idolize Miller. He can play the guitar like very, very, very few others (he was just named Instrumentalist of the Year by the Americana Music Association); doubters should listen to him accompany Emmylou Harris on her live album Spyboy. But he also produces records and writes funny, ironic tunes that have saved me much bitterness (e.g., "Draggin' the River of Our Love") and equally wicked album titles (e.g., "Your Love and Other Lies"). And as I mentioned here a while back, on his most recent CD, Universal United House of Prayer (2004), Miller revealed a deeply felt religious sensibility but also felt free to include an extended, pointed cover of Dylan's "With God on Our Side." There's a notion! A commitment to Christianity that does not lead to belligerent militarism. (And yes, I know that Buddy's work is intricately interwoven with that of his co-conspirator Julie Miller. I simply want to single him out here.)

Buddy Miller, March 2008 ~ Photograph © Thomas Petillo.

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