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The Millers: husband and wife rule!

Johnny D's, Somerville, Mass., May 15, 2001

By Jeffrey B. Remz

SOMERVILLE, MASS. - A look at just who sings the songs of Buddy Miller ought to give an indication of the sturdiness of his songwriting: the Dixie Chicks ("Hole in My Head"), Lee Ann Womack ("I Know Why the River Runs" and "Does My Ring Burn Your Finger?").

Of course, just because you're a strong songwriter doesn't mean you're any good in concert. But lo and behold Buddy and wife Julie gave a sterling performance with a back-up rhythm section that pushed the songs even further.

The show before an appreciative crowded club was far stronger than the duo's last effort here. At that time, they were sans band which made a big difference. But more importantly, Julie was acting purposefully odd.

Not so this time. She sang great. Buddy sang and played great. And they also have a slew of wonderful songs to make for a fine evening of music.

Miller can be on the understated side both singing and playing, which is just as well when you play guitar as well as he does. No wonder folks like Emmylou Harris take him on tour. There's a lot of meat on the bones to these songs when he gets through with them. The Millers took their turns on lead with the other often supplying strong backing harmony.

The Millers easily maneuvered their way through country, country rock, blues and rock songs in their nearly 100-minute set, punctuated by two encores and an obviously please Buddy Miller in thanking the crowd.

There will be more of Buddy and Julie Miller in the future - this time on the silver platter. They are working their way through a duets album for HighTone. Now if "only" they can come up with a few more good songs...

Led by another husband-and-wife team, Boston-area band The Heygoods opened up, showcasing many good songs from their recent EP. David and Katie Champagne both sing with Katie certainly the stronger singer of the two.

Husbands and wives ruled the evening making for one fun night of country.

©Country Standard Time • Jeffrey B. Remz, editor & publisher •
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