Best of the Hightone Years

The Best of the Hightone Years

4.0 1
by Buddy Miller
     
 
Buddy Miller is country in a way that country isn't marketed much these days. He knows life is ragged and messy, and that's the way he approaches songs, and he sings with a wild, willful abandon that sounds as real and lived in as the day is long. There's nothing smooth and polished about Buddy Miller, which is why he doesn't get played on contemporary country

Overview

Buddy Miller is country in a way that country isn't marketed much these days. He knows life is ragged and messy, and that's the way he approaches songs, and he sings with a wild, willful abandon that sounds as real and lived in as the day is long. There's nothing smooth and polished about Buddy Miller, which is why he doesn't get played on contemporary country stations and gets shuffled away under the Americana or alt-country umbrellas. Whatever. He's the real deal, and this excellent sampler of his eight-year stay at Hightone Records shows that again and again, and it makes a perfect introduction to this delightfully maverick singer and songwriter. There isn't a slack song in the sequence, but a few really stand out, particularly the opener, "The River's Gonna Run," written by his wife, Julie Miller, who sings on it, too, and the couple sounds like the second coming of Richard & Mimi Fariña if the Fariñas had spent a lifetime drinking and smoking in a honky tonk road house. It's country, even if Nashville has no clue that it is. Other highlights here include "Somewhere Trouble Don't Go," a loosely sung but masterful version of Richard Thompson's "Keep Your Distance," and a fun romp through "Hole in My Head," which Miller co-wrote with Jim Lauderdale. But each of these 16 tracks has something to offer, and even though they're drawn from five different albums for Hightone, they feel like they all belong together (the album isn't arranged chronologically, which means the songs bounce off each other in a natural flow, and it shows someone put some thought into sequencing), and the end result is an impressive portrait of an American treasure. Folks, this is country the way it ought to be done.

Product Details

Release Date:
10/28/2008
Label:
Shout Factory
UPC:
0826663109733
catalogNumber:
31097
Rank:
334330

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Buddy Miller   Primary Artist,Banjo,Bass,Guitar,Harmonica,Electric Guitar,Harmonium,12-string Guitar,Optigan
Emmylou Harris   Acoustic Guitar,Vocals
Jim Lauderdale   Vocals
Phil Madeira   Organ,Accordion,Harmonium,Hammond Organ,Melodica,Hammond B3
Julie Miller   Percussion,Vocals,Trash Cans
Patterson Barrett   Piano
Larry Campbell   Fiddle,Steel Guitar
Steve Fishell   Guitar,Steel Guitar,fender rhodes
John Gardner   Drums
Don Heffington   Drums
Byron House   Bass
Darryl Johnson   Bass,Vocals
Donald Lindley   Drums
Gurf Morlix   Bass,Guitar
Perkins   Steel Guitar
Tammy Rogers   Fiddle,Mandolin
Jeff Steele   Bass
Allison Presswood   Bass
John Schreiner   Piano
Lee Ann Womack   Vocals
Rev. Brady Blade   Drums
Bryan Owings   Drums
Cory Verbin   Piano
Rick Plant   Bass

Technical Credits

Tom T. Hall   Composer
Jim Lauderdale   Composer
Julie Miller   Composer
Buddy Miller   Composer
Michael Wilson   Cover Photo
Mathieu Bitton   Art Direction
Roosevelt Jamison   Composer
Jeff Palo   Producer,Audio Production
Karrie Stouffer   Artwork
Michael Berick   Liner Notes

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The Best of the Hightone Years 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
glauver More than 1 year ago
Perhaps it's because Miller covers Keep Your Distance, but I find some echoes of RT in his style. Buddy is not as gloomy as Thompson often is, but both have a slightly skewed sense of humor and terse guitar style. Many of his best tracks feature duets with wife Julie. Two of them are also found on Love Snuck Up, an anthology of the couple's work. Get both CDs to get a full overview of their work. Of Buddy's solo songs on this disc, Did My Ring Burn Your Finger? (Richard Thompson should cover it.) and That's How I Got to Memphis grab me after a couple listens. In short, Buddy (and Julie) are a buried treasure of alt country.