Behind the music is a modest man of extraordinarily broad skills.
Emmylou Harris, in whose band Miller played for eight years, calls the Ohio-born Nashville transplant "one of the best guitar players of all time." Steve Earle, another former bandmate, pronounces him "the best country singer working today." Records by artists ranging from Lucinda Williams to Trisha Yearwood have benefited from Miller's vocal and instrumental prowess. Covers by the likes of Lee Ann Womack, Brooks & Dunn, and the Dixie Chicks have proven the contemporary power of Miller's timeless compositions. Then there is his superiority as a producer and engineer (Harris, Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Jim Lauderdale). And he has a nice sideline mastering records.
Miller is a master of many disciplines-but note how all this mastery is ultimately pressed into service. With Your Love and Other Lies (1995), Poison Love (1997), Cruel Moon (1999), the co-billed Buddy and Julie Miller (2001, a 2001 Grammy® nominee for Best Contemporary Folk Album), Midnight and Lonesome (2002), Milller has created a niche in American music all his own. Here, rich tones are coaxed from plastic guitars and trash cans; human desires are unveiled, picked over, mourned; remote musical origins are honored. A living room, a Pro Tools rig, and a complement of vintage mikes make, somehow, an environment no proper studio can. Miller's singularity is in his willingness to subordinate his extravagant technical gifts to a specific program: the creation of a music that is purposefully personal, naturally eccentric, and spiritually substantial. In this way he is to music as someone like Michael Powell is to film or Flannery O'Connor to literature. He is, simply, a thoroughgoing auteur, the only one in country music.In 2010, Miller produced Patty Griffin's album, Downtown Church, and in 2011 won a TRAMMY for Best Tradiitonal Gospel Album.
The Majestic Silver Strings