Music » Music Stories & Interviews



Scott Miller Courtesy photo
If Scott Miller's gruff twang and obsession with the American heartland occasionally suggests a younger Steve Earle, the similarity is no coincidence.

Earle and Miller have been friends for years, and Earle signed Miller's '90s roots-pop band, the V-Roys, as the first act on his E-Squared record label. The V-Roys made a habit of consuming alcohol on a fairly regular basis, and their flair for songcraft and onstage chaos led some scribes to brand them a Southern Replacements.

Like the Mats, the V-Roys never connected with the mass audience they deserved, and three years ago Miller decided to go solo. A student of Russian literature and a self-styled historian fascinated with pre-Civil War America, Miller isn't your average troubadour, and it shows in his work, with its emphasis on storytelling and explorations of characters who live below the Mason-Dixon line.

The Commonwealth
Friday, September 5
1719 Blanco Road
His solo debut, Thus Always to Tyrants, made the 2001 Top 10 list of New York Times critic Neill Strauss, and his latest release, Upside Downside, has attracted similar acclaim. Conceived as a double-sided record, with two Knoxville, Tennessee bands - Superdrag and the Commonwealth - each taking a side, Upside turned into a full-bore showcase for the Commonwealth when Superdrag proved too busy to make it to the studio.

Miller tends to mix solo acoustic and band gigs into his schedule, but when he takes the stage at Casbeers on Friday, September 5, the Commonwealth will lend their countrified Booker T and the MGs sound to his material. •

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