Saturday, June 28, 2014

Now Hear This: SAM MILLER

CD release show

Ex-Albuquerqueño (actually from the northwest) Sam Miller returns from Seattle for his first solo release, You Need To Hear It (ably mastered by Sean McCullough of Sad Baby Wolf ). When last we saw him, Miller was fronting the pleasantly uncategorizable Jenny Invert, a band that spun off from the somewhat categorizable Grand Canyon (ersatz-Americana?). If this sounds somewhat equivocal, it’s not intentional.

While listening, I jotted down some notes: pseudo-Slavic Mariachi Country & Western piano party-pop wrapped in a game show theme with Sam as dashing host -- “Come on down! ” --  but deadly earnest. It’s a shame this description comes off so damn messy. 

Although his sound comes from incredibly disparate sources, Miller makes it blend like a chef adding just the right dash of thickener to a sauce that could otherwise be a lumpy mess. Rather than the pedestrian cornstarch an amateur might use, Miller employs a grand beurre manié, which is really just butter and flour but oh so elegant. Much of this shouldn’t mesh but it does. 

You Need To Hear It is an heroic dish anchored by his compelling piano work, handsome voice  and clever -- never stupid-- songwriting with sweeping but tasteful Queen-like production. 

Sam Miller 
Saturday June 28, 2014
313 Gold Ave. SW
9pm doors
 Yes Burt's in finally charging a cover. Good. 
You can afford to do with one less drink so a few bucks go into the band's pocket

originally appeared in Weekly Alibi