David Michael Miller review…July 9, 2015…

DAVID MICHAEL MILLER

SAME SOIL

FOOD FOR THE SOUL RECORDS

ALL THE BLUES TO YOU–JUST RIDE–GOT THEM BLUES–FRIEND OF MINE–DOING ME IN, DOING ME WRONG–SHOES TO SHINE–NEEDLE TO THE WHEEL–IF ‘IN YOU HEAR ME–BORN TO LOSE–TOO EARLY IN THE MORNING–MAN’S GOT THINGS TO DO

Hot on the heels of his breakout album, “Poisons Sipped,” David Michael Miller is back with an even stronger sophomore set of  hard-hitting blues mixed with gospel inflections and some fine ballads as well.  This set is entitled “Same Soil,” and joining David are Jim Ehinger on keys,  Carlton Campbell on drums, Jeremy Keyes on harp, Jason Moynihan on sax, and Robert Parker on bass.

The Buffalo, NY-based Miller draws his inspiration for these songs deep from the Delta–in fact, most of these songs were recorded on vintage, pre-WWII equipment.  He starts this set with a blues “history lesson” of sorts, “All The Blues To You.”  It begins in the Mississippi cotton fields with “the leader that plays Lucille,” up thru Memphis at Stax, on to Chi-town and Motown, ending with the jam-band musings of the Allmans, Phish, and the Grateful Dead, with the mantra that “it’s all good when It’s All Good Blues To You.”  David’s guitar leads venture into jam territory on “Just Ride,” with sweet harp from Jeremy.

“Friend Of Mine” is an excellent minor-key slow-blues that finds David’s guitar meshing perfectly with Jason’s sax, and that sax comes into play again on the tale of a bluesman who is told by some of the older patrons in the juke joint that “Son, you got some Shoes To Shine” before your dues are paid!

The story of “Charlie” is bittersweet, as he feels that “life is just the blues, and dyin’ feels like winning,  because I was Born To Lose.”  David closes the set on a somber note with the ballad written in tribute to his grandfather, who passed away during the recording of this album, “Man’s Got Things To Do.”

We had two favorites, too.  “Got Them Blues” is a soul-sanctifyin’,  testifyin’ shot of the gospel spirit full of killer slide guitar, while David channels the swagger of his inner Muddy with the stop-time story of a no-good lover who’s “Doin’ Me In, Doing Me Wrong.”

David Michael Miller travels over that sacred “Same Soil” that the blues forefathers trod upon for the inspiration for this fine set.  He shows a strong versatility thru killer musicianship and clever, thought-provoking lyrics.  Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow.

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