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Julie Miller

Broken Things – 1999 (HighTone)

Reviewed by Dan MacIntosh

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CDs by Julie Miller

Julie Miller may only be known as Buddy's wife by some, or as the writer of "All My Tears" for a recent Emmylou Harris album by others, but with this - her second HighTone release - she deserves to be better recognized as a singer and songwriter in her own right.

This is another collection of Miller's heartfelt songs where her little girl voice addresses large issues of the heart. Helped out by big name folks like Steve Earle, Emmylou Harris, Patty Griffin and Victoria Williams, Miller oftentimes puts herself in the position of the understanding friend; one who clearly sees the wounds of her comrades and sets out to bandage them. The album opens with "Ride the Wind to Me," where Miller assures a brokenhearted one that one day that heart will mend. "In my heart I see you run free/like a river down to the sea." Musically, this is closer to The Byrds unplugged than it is to today's modern high tech country sound. Her fragile voice is supported by softly played mandolin, Hammond B3 and Buddy's various stringed things.

With so many female country singers coming off like scantily clad super models, ready to take over the world, it's comforting to spend time with an understanding friend like Julie Miller.