Thursday, July 23, 2009


One of my favorite albums of the year is one that hasn't gotten much hype, Buddy & Julie Miller's Written In Chalk. I've written about Buddy before, he's a great artist, and so is Julie. Buddy has played in Emmylou Harris' backing band, he's played for Steve Earle and for Lucinda Williams, and more recently in the Robert Plant/Alison Krauss touring band. Julie Miller's songs have been covered by Emmylou, The Dixie Chicks and even Brooks & Dunn. Buddy and Julie each make great solo records, and they always guest on each other's albums, but they also make wonderful albums together like this one.

It's a wonderful "Americana" type album. Buddy sounds more country than most "country" singers, and Julie just has a sadness in her voice that can make you ache. But there's a lot of fun parts to the album: the opening track, "Gasoline and Matches" is sexy and fun, and a cover of Mel Tillis' "What You Gonna Do Leroy" featuring Robert Plant himself is rollicking. But "Long Time" could have been a late night torch ballad from the '40s and "Every Time We Say Goodbye" is as sad as it sounds. Someone more popular could have a monster hit with "Don't Say Goodbye" (sung here by Julie and Patty Griffin) - hopefully it won't be a bombastic over-the-top diva. You can buy a few songs on iTunes, but treat yourself and get the whole album.

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