The ex-V-Roys leader covers a lot of ground on this album: From Tom Petty-ish rave-ups ("Second Chance"), Rockpile twangers ("It Didn't Take Too Long") and Jayhawks country weepers ("Angels Dwell," "The Way") to bluegrass pickin' ("Ciderville Saturday Night"), Neil Young-styled mope/folk-rock ("I've Got a Plan") and even a bubbly Memphis instrumental a la Booker T. & the MGs ("Chill, Relax, Now").
Miller revels in his knowledge of Americana. He also steams into '60s Dylan terrain on "Red Ball Express," becoming one of the few contemporary folk singers to protest the Iraq war with blunt lyrics -- "trading bodies for petroleum" -- the likes of which even the Dixie Chicks and Steve Earle haven't mustered.
The singer/songwriter's boyish vocals, hooky tunes and obvious dedication keep this from deteriorating into a scattershot collection, even as it speeds through diverse territory.
On his current tour, Miller has abandoned traveling by van, preferring to ride the Amtrak Crescent instead. His 13 shows follow the train's path from New Orleans to New York, serving to both promote the line and reinforce his Woody Guthrie itinerant troubadour sensibilities.
He's "searching for anyplace but where I am," as Upside/Downside rides the musical rails through the rural and urban spaces of America, touching various musical checkpoints and arriving right on time.
Scott Miller and the Commonwealth play Smith's Olde Bar on Thurs., Jan. 29. $10.
ooooohhhh, I'm so excited!! I can't wait to see them together!
come on man you know you got a bromance. you probably still rock that OutKast…
Yes, 14 is the correct answer. I'll pass your info along to the group's manager,…