Midnight and Lonesome

Midnight and Lonesome

by Buddy MillerBuddy Miller


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Do not despair over the title of Buddy Miller's latest homegrown (as in recorded in his home) effort: Midnight and Lonesome spices its evocative, countrified tales of broken hearts and disillusioned characters with twangy roots rock and Cajun and R&B flavors to create a tasty musical gumbo. With his wife, Julie, contributing songs and background vocals (alongside Emmylou Harris and Lee Ann Womack), Miller opts to keep it simple. The music is advanced by small combos -- sometimes only two musicians -- and even the raucous outings here have a spare, bare-bones ambiance, emphasizing the well-turned lyrics and heightening the impact of Miller's own reedy, unaffected vocals. Typical of anything that comes from the Millers' pens these days, the original songs command attention and demand repeat listenings, whether it's their collaboration "Wild Card," a Hank Williams–style honky-tonkin' tale of a rambler blindsided by love, or Julie's stark, riveting acoustic ballad for guitar and fiddle, "Quecreek," which offers a vivid recreation of the desperate hours of the trapped miners in Pennsylvania. Notable non-Miller songs include a rocking take on the Everly Brothers' "The Price of Love," defined by its searing electric guitar lines and the Millers' mountain-style harmonies, and a somber acoustic shuffle treatment of Jesse Winchester's "A Showman's Life," bittersweet testimony relating the downside of the troubadour's calling, with Emmylou adding a plaintive seconding of that emotion. And not least of all, Miller slips in a sly, seductive reading of Percy Mayfield's classic R&B chart-topper from 1950, "Please Send Me Someone to Love," which decried the tyranny of racial prejudice at the dawn of the modern civil rights movement. To torture the food metaphor, there's much to chew on here, and it's all strictly gourmet fare.

Product Details

Release Date: 10/15/2002
Label: Hightone Records
UPC: 0012928814928
catalogNumber: 8149
Rank: 100509

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