Scott Miller: For Crying Out Loud

scottmiller_forcryingoutloudPop, rock, country and blues from former V-Roy

From the top: this is not Scott Miller of Game Theory (or the Loud Family), nor is it the Scott Miller who’s self-released five blues albums throughout the last decade, nor the Scott Miller who played drums for Agent Orange. It is, in fact, the Scott Miller who sang, played guitar and wrote songs for the late ’90s power-twang band, the V-Roys. Since the group’s demise, Miller’s been recording solo albums and performing with a revolving aggregation called the Commonwealth. After three studio releases and a live set on Sugar Hill, this self-released album features a similar blend of country and rock influences, though with acoustic power chords mostly replacing electric.

The album opens with the ranting anthem, “Cheap Ain’t Cheap (For Crying Out Loud),” expressing a sideways anticipation of the New Depression. The album’s up-tempo numbers include driving acoustics, New Orleans-tinged country-rock, and the Blasters’ styled roots of “Claire Marie.” These are interwoven with singer-songwriter tunes that include the Celtic harmony duet “I’m Right Here, My Love,” sung with Patty Griffin, and the solo closer, “Appalachian Refugee.” The acoustic works turns darker on the expose “Sin in Indiana,” and the low twanging “Double Indemnity” harbors noirish secrets in its blue notes.

Miller can seem like a glass-half-empty romanticist; blowing blue harmonica as he declares his faults on “Let You Down” and shying away from opportunity on “Heart in Harm’s Way.” But the sentiments are coy in their hope that honest declaration and cautious refusal will ward off imagined disasters; think Nick Lowe, Ben Vaughn and Tom T. Hall (whose “I Can’t Dance” is covered here). Miller transitions smoothly between pop, rock, country and blues, and though at time you’ll wish he’d alight on one for more than a song at a time, the next tune always sweeps you away. [©2009 hyperbolium dot com]

MP3 | Heart in Harm’s Way
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