Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Kevin Miller - One Big Happy Family

Hear The Track Here

You might not think it to look at me but I am a big fan of yeeeaahhhh music. One of the best discoveries for me in the acoustic field over the last year is Washington based Kevin Miller - and wife, kids, dogs, cats, ducks and the rest of the farmyard - but more on that later. I've only reviewed two other Kevin Miller tracks - the inspirational Light A Candle (February 2009) introduced me to him in spectacular fashion and followed it up with Midnight Boy (April 2009). Now considering that Midnight Boy was a song about a man, his horse and the great outdoors, it is a touching, beautiful song that has resonance wherever you happen to hail from. That's the hallmark, it would seem, of this singularly American of musicians, a steady attention to his roots allied with a class songwriting style. Certainly won him a lot of friends, of which I am one.

So, Kevin does Country. That's American country music as opposed to the slop that is thrown out of the so called home of country music Nashville, Tennessee. A city that should hang its head with shame at what it has done to a perfectly good genre. Damn, how did that soapbox get in here? Anyway, as I said at the start, I actually really love REAL country as my championing of such artists as Morris P Rainville and The Chairs will testify - both classic examples of how exciting real country music can be. So, Kevin was added to that coterie as soon as I heard this, the most country track I have heard him do. I have a special place in my heart for Bluegrass music which dazzles me whenever I hear it and guess what kinda country One Big Happy Family is?

As you can imagine, the songs context revolves around the simple life; family, farm and plenty of sunshine (Ed: in Washington state? I think not. Its worse than England) and is obviously heartfelt and - much more to the point - isn't so sugary in its sentiment that it makes you vomit copiously. Now that's a neat trick in my book because I have an extremely low threshold for bullshit (Ed: OK Gilmore, enough of the farm references) so when I read a lyric like 'Now we're one big happy family, living on the land. Raise them cows and chickens, Shucking corn by hand. We aint got no money, I hope you'll understand. We're just one big happy family, living on the land' I'm going to be well skeptical. Rose tinted much? What comes across in the track, however, is a different beast altogether. The sheer fun and exhilaration of life flows through this track and you can't help but smile indulgently, even a hard assed reviewer like me.

Lovely, lively bluegrassssssss. Highly Recommended.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I know Kevin personally and I just wanted to tell you a little extra tidbit you might not have known. In your past reviews on Kevin's music, you really liked how clear his recording is. He definitely knows what he's doing, but he's completely self-taught. In fact, he self-taught himself to play all the instruments he knows. He's taught his kids to play, too, and often performs here in Washington with them. He's a self-made, hard working guy, and definitely well-acquainted with the Americana vibe that you get from his music. Thanks so much for these great reviews. I'm a big fan, too. :)