Buddy Miller

The Majestic Silver Strings (New West)

Phases & Stages

Buddy Miller

The Majestic Silver Strings (New West)

Buddy Miller can do no wrong. Just ask Robert Plant, Patty Griffin, and Emmylou Harris. Although this collection of classic country sprinkled with a couple of originals features an extraordinarily talented assemblage of musical collaborators, it never coalesces into anything above average. Besides Miller, the Majestic Silver Strings are Bill Frisell, Marc Ribot, and Greg Leisz, top of the heap guitarists whose combined résumés swing from Tom Waits and John Zorn to Steve Earle and Vic Chesnutt. Add guest vocals from Griffin, Harris, Shawn Colvin, Lee Ann Womack, and Ann McCrary, and it seems almost impossible to make a mess. That's when there's a couple too many attempts at atmospheric and far too little of the expected guitar fireworks. The proceedings succumb under their own weight. Midway there's a swamp blues rewrite of Roger Miller's "Dang Me," sung by Chocolate Genius Marc Anthony Thompson, that completely misses the song's ridiculousness and ends up just being foolish. One bright spot is Julie Miller/Frisell set closer "God's Wing'ed Horse," performed by just the two Millers singing a gospel duet that twinkles with a simplicity that would have served the rest of the album well. Included in the package is a behind-the-scenes DVD with a revved-up video of Buddy Miller singing George Jones' "Why Baby Why."

**

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More Buddy Miller
Come What May
Come What May
Shawn Colvin and Steve Earle duet

Jim Caligiuri, June 10, 2016

Diamond in the Rough
Diamond in the Rough
Shawn Colvin's sad songs say so much

Abby Johnston, Oct. 5, 2012

More Music Reviews
Texas Platters
Hector Ward & the Big Time
Smile Into Life (Record Review)

Alejandra Ramirez, July 5, 2019

Texas Platters
Gary Clark Jr.
This Land (Record Review)

Kahron Spearman, March 22, 2019

More by Jim Caligiuri
Carrie Elkin’s Life-and-Death Folk
Carrie Elkin’s Life-and-Death Folk
Her father's death and daughter's birth upped the stakes of the singer's finest work

April 14, 2017

SXSW Music Live: Richard Barone Presents Greenwich Village in the Sixties
SXSW Music Live: Richard Barone Presents Greenwich Village in the Sixties
Soft Boys, Youngbloods, Moby Grape, Brian Jones’ grandson, etc.

March 18, 2017

KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Buddy Miller

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Updates for SXSW 2019

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle