Buddy Miller   (photo by Thomas Petillo)

Over the years of doing Puremusic, one of the most enjoyable and unpredictable interviews we've had the pleasure to do was in the home of Buddy and Julie Miller, two of our favorite artists.

Buddy's reputation and notoriety since that interview have risen steadily, as a guitarist and singer, a songwriter and producer. But to the people who know him or have worked with him, it's who he is that is equally mindblowing, and what truly accounts for the high esteem in which he and his music are held by so many. He's one of the few artists that almost anybody could say "I want to be more like him" about. I don‘t know any better testament than that.

How is it possible, on the other hand, that the guy whom Steve Earle calls "the best Country singer working today" or whom Emmylou calls "one of the best guitar players of all time" can be less than really famous? That's up to people like us, of course, who care about this kind of music, soulful inspired music that means something, and still rocks. (And twangs, and tremolos.) It's up to us to buy these records, and tell all our friends about them--especially the friends who, without our recommendation, wouldn't be likely to come upon such a treasure.

I mention to Buddy in the interview the incredible bio that insurgent Country artist Robbie Fulks wrote on him for New West Records, a superior label. We urge you take a look at that, it's right here. (We hope to interview Robbie himself very soon, he's got a new CD out.) While you're there, we hope you'll browse through the New West roster; they set the bar high.

This latest record, Universal United House of Prayer, is Gospel according to Buddy. It features the incredible McCrary sisters, Regina and Ann. They are the daughters of Sam McCrary, of the The Fairfield Four. Their awesome sound illumines Buddy's voice, as they do his faith and his concerns.

Oh, and it's a mighty and a deep thing that Buddy and Julie have been up to all these years, and it keeps getting deeper, and better. Along with the transcendental nine minute cover of "With God On Our Side," the most literally soul stirring numbers are those written with his four dimensional wife. When I slow down enough to listen hard to what they are singing and to what they are playing, I am again struck with gratitude that they thread the needle of song with the skein of integrity and embroider themselves so indelibly into the fabric of American music.
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