Sunday, June 29, 2008


I've been writing a bit about some big magazines - Rolling Stone and Time. A smaller magazine that I've enjoyed over the years is No Depression, which covers the alt-country, or as I'd call it, the Outlaw Country scene. Sadly, their latest issue is their last.

I was glad to see that they used the opportunity to name their "Artist Of The Decade." Emmylou, Lucinda or Earle all would have been good choices, but I'm glad that they gave the honor to Buddy Miller. Buddy has worked with all three of the aforementioned, but I'm pretty sure I've never seen the guy on a magazine cover. He's a great singer, songwriter, guitarist and producer. I've written a bit about Buddy - he is in Robert Plant & Alison Krauss' backing band. He has recorded a bunch of great solo albums, and duo albums with his wife, Julie Miller, and he's worked on Julie's solo albums too. He also produced a great Solomon Burke album: 2006's Nashville. But I first discovered him as the guitarist in Emmylou Harris' backing band, Spyboy.

A few years ago, I went to see Emmylou at the Bergen Peforming Arts Center in Englewood New Jersey (a great venue). My wife was away, so I went to the show myself. It turned out that Buddy was opening for Emmylou, as well as playing guitar for her. I happened to be sitting next to Buddy's mom! I kind of knew some of his songs, because a great local station, WFUV, played him sometimes. His mom was like, "That's my son!" I said, "I love his guitar playing on Emmylou's albums," and she was glad that I knew who he was. But I really dug his performance, so right afterwards, I went to the merch table and bought a few of his CDs, much to his mom's delight. Months later, I got to interview Ms. Harris herself, and shared this story with her. She said, "Bless your heart!" Not everyone gets their heart blessed by Emmylou Harris! But the albums were really good, so it was worth it.

I'm sorry to see No Depression go away, but I'm glad that they gave their cover to Buddy Miller. He's a great artist that I think people would really like if they knew about him, but he doesn't seem like the type of guy to go hiring publicists and look for attention. Which is cool, but it just means that it's a bit less likely that people will hear about him.

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