Buddy Miller: Spyboy to Downtown Church to Majestic Silver Strings

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Photo: Buddy Miller
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Singer, songwriter, guitarist, producer: these are just a few of the labels that apply to Buddy Miller. Born September 6, 1952 in Fairborn, Ohio, Buddy has recorded with and/or produced such outstanding artists as Emmylou Harris, Patty Griffin, Gillian Welch, Steve Earle, Shawn Colvin, Robert Plant, and Alison Kraus. He toured and recorded with Emmylou in her Spyboy band in the mid-90s, producing her CD Spyboy, and again with Three Girls and Their Buddy, touring with Emmylou, Patty Griffin, and Shawn Colvin. He was honored at the 4th Annual Americana Music Association Honors & Awards in September 2005 with the Album of the Year Award for Universal United House of Prayer. The opening cut of that album, "Worry Too Much" (penned by Mark Heard, and originally released on his Second Hand album), won the Song of the Year Award. Currently living in Nashville, Tennessee, Miller is married to and has recorded with singer-songwriter Julie Miller.

Miller formed the Buddy Miller Band in the late 1970s, which included singer-songwriter Shawn Colvin on vocals and guitar, and since has recorded several solo albums and albums with his wife, Julie Miller, most recently Written in Chalk which was released in March 2009. He toured with Steve Earle on his El Corazon tour, with Shawn Colvin, and with Linda Ronstadt. He co-produced and performed on Jimmie Dale Gilmore's 2000 album Endless Night, and has appeared on several albums by songwriter and singer Lucinda Williams. In 2004, Miller toured with Emmylou Harris, Patty Griffin, Gillian Welch, and David Rawlings as the Sweet Harmony Traveling Revue.

Photo: Buddy Miller and Patty Griffin
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As outstanding as his career has been as a muscian, his production credits are equally impressive, including Solomon Burke who tapped Miller's Nashville home studio in 2006 to record his country album Nashville on which Emmylou Harris, Patty Griffin, Gillian Welch and Dolly Parton appear as duet partners. Recently he produced Patty Griffin's acclaimed gospel album Downtown Church, which won a Grammy Award for Best Traditional Gospel Album on February 13, 2011, for which he used his ELA M 251E, ELA M 260, and AK-47 MkII mics.

At the annual Americana Music Association Honors and Awards program at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tennessee on September 18, 2008, Miller received the "AMA Instrumentalist Of The Year" award, which was presented to him by Robert Plant and Alison Krauss. Miller was joined by Plant on a performance of a new song "Whatcha Gonna Do, Leroy" from his album Written in Chalk. He also was part of the band for John Fogerty's The Blue Ridge Rangers Rides Again in 2009. In 2010, Miller again joined Robert Plant and Patty Griffin with Robert Plant's Band of Joy, touring both the US and Europe. His most recent venture, Buddy Miller's The Majestic Silver Strings album is Buddy's re-imagination of classic country songs featuring Buddy playing with three highly acclaimed guitarists, Bill Frisell, Marc Ribot & Greg Leisz, alongside guest vocalists Emmylou Harris, Patty Griffin, Shawn Colvin, Lee Ann Womack, Chocolate Genius and Julie Miller.


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