Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Another National Treasure

Since reading "An American National Treasure," Mark's post on Bill Mallonee, I've wanted to say something about one of my own favorite singer-songwriters, Buddy Miller. Of course when I speak of Buddy Miller, I'm really thinking of Buddy and his wife, Julie, who, nowadays, does most of the writing.

Like all novelists, I daydream about movie adaptations of my novels, and whenever I think of a movie based on The Callings, I always imagine music written and performed by the Millers.

Until a few years ago, I had always thought about Buddy Miller in terms of his long association with Emmylou Harris. Then one day while I was browsing in a bookstore, a song jumped out of the background music, and I dropped whatever book or magazine I was considering and hustled back to the music department to ask what was playing. The sales clerk walked over to the "Americana" section and pulled out Midnight and Lonesome. I've been a Buddy and Julie fan ever since.

Here's Buddy talking about his new CD:

Here's one of my favorites, "Worry too Much," from Universal United House of Prayer. I'd call it a protest song.

Like Bill Mallonee, Buddy and Julie Miller are often regarded as Christian artists, and some of their best songs reflect their faith. But you certainly don't have to be religious to enjoy their music, and I doubt that their songs get much (if any) play on Christian stations. They get lots of airtime on the Alt-Country stations here in Texas.

Here's one from Written in Chalk. I believe it's called "Chalk."

And a nice segment with Buddy and one of his favorite guitars:

Sure, some of Buddy and Julie Miller's songs are very simple, earnest, even sentimental. Twenty years ago, I probably would have rolled my eyes. Nowadays, it doesn't take me long to get my fill of nihilism and irony. More and more, a Buddy and Julie song is exactly what I need to hear.


Matt Mullenix said...

Hey I like that guy. I also share your feeling about changing tastes in music.

Here's a local boy we really like:


Henry Chappell said...

Hey Matt. Thanks for the link. Good stuff! I'll keep an eye and ear out for him.

Mark Churchill said...


You made my day—and just when I thought no one was reading...

I still re-visit the Home Range archives once in a while for the Larry McMurtry "60 Acres" video, and have a feeling I'll be coming back for "Worry Too Much".

Thanks for introducing me to another new (to me) artist. I'd bet Bill Mallonee is already a Buddy Miller fan, but I'll send him a link just for kicks.