NASHVILLE, Tenn., June 30, 2010 - Buddy Miller--musical purveyor of love, faith and humanity--will bring his guitar, his songs and, most likely, many of his favorite collaborators when he takes the Ford Theater stage as the Country Music Hall of Fame® and Museum's 2010 Artist-in-Residence. Miller will serve as host and curator for the intimate evening performances, which are slated for August 10, 17 and 24 at 7:00 p.m.
Miller's residency marks the official re-opening of the Museum's Ford Theater, which was damaged in the catastrophic flood that hit Nashville in May. And, for the first time, attendees will have a choice of ticket options for each performance, including exclusive packages that provide dinner, reserved parking and a commemorative Hatch Show Print poster. (Details and purchasing information are below.) In addition, the Museum's galleries will be open to all ticket holders prior to each performance beginning at 5:15 p.m. Buddy Miller is featured in the Museum's newly expanded core exhibit, Sing Me Back Home: A Journey Through Country Music.
Established in 2003, the Museum's residency program annually honors a musical master who can be credited with contributing a large and significant body of work to the canon of American popular music. Honorees are given a blank canvas--the Museum's acoustically pristine, 213-seat Ford Theater--and are encouraged to lend their own creative brushstrokes to an up-close-and-personal musical experience. Previous honorees include Cowboy Jack Clement, Earl Scruggs, Tom T. Hall, Guy Clark, Kris Kristofferson, Jerry Douglas and Vince Gill.
Hailed as "Artist of the Decade" for the 2000s by No Depression magazine, and lauded by guitarist Larry Campbell (Bob Dylan, Levon Helm) as the "greatest male singer I've ever worked with," Buddy Miller has been creating and performing his own brand of soulful American music for over three decades, releasing self-recorded albums under his own name and with his wife, Julie Miller. Possessing an extraordinary vision as a musician, vocalist, producer, and songwriter, Miller is the quintessential artist--his talent matched only by his heart of gold and the passion and empathy within his music. He has played guitar and sung harmonies with Steve Earle, Emmylou Harris, Alison Krauss, Robert Plant and Lucinda Williams. As a co-producer, he has added his emotional, homegrown touches to recordings by Solomon Burke, Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Patty Griffin, Allison Moorer, Robert Plant and Vigilantes of Love. In addition, his songs have been recorded by country hit makers Dierks Bentley, Brooks & Dunn, the Dixie Chicks, Lee Ann Womack and others.
"Buddy Miller is a one of those rare, gifted musicians who has not only built an impressive resume of relevant, multilayered compositions and recordings that document the pain, joy and triumph of the human experience, but who also possesses a genuine passion for facilitating the visions of others through producing, songwriting and musical accompaniment," said Museum Director Kyle Young. "His unflinching dedication to his craft, along with his collaborative spirit, makes him a perfect fit for the Museum's artist-in-residence series.
"To hear Buddy on record, or to hear his songs interpreted by others, is a good introduction, but hearing and seeing him live in an intimate environment is to understand his essence and feel his humanity. In our residency tradition, we are privileged to give him our stage as his home and we are certain he will make all who attend feel as if they are sitting in his living room while he plays just for them."
Steven Paul "Buddy" Miller was born the son of a United States Air Force serviceman in 1952, and was raised in Princeton, New Jersey. Influenced by popular radio's eclectic mix (from Ralph Stanley to Skeeter Davis to the Temptations) and enticed by the local bluegrass scene, Miller was performing as a rhythm guitarist and an upright bass player by the time he was a teenager. In 1975, he relocated to Austin, Texas, where he met his soon-to-be wife, singer-songwriter Julie Griffin, and began playing what he called "progressive country music," an edgy brand of soulful, roots-based music steeped in tradition.
Working under the assumption that a record deal would be more likely in New York, the pair moved to the Big Apple in the late 1970s. The Buddy Miller Band was born. The group, which included emerging guitarist Larry Campbell and later employed vocalist Shawn Colvin, served frequently as the backing band at country hotspots the Lone Star Café and City Limits. As the band was gaining momentum, a religious awakening caused Julie to abruptly call it quits and head back to Texas, and Buddy eventually followed.
Buddy and Julie married in 1981 in Waco, Texas. A period of spiritual exploration followed, which temporarily halted their musical output and led the couple west to Seattle and San Francisco. California eventually coaxed the pair out of musical hibernation, and soon Buddy reconnected with country-rocker and old New York cohort Jim Lauderdale, who hired him as his guitarist in Los Angeles. In 1989, the Millers took up residence in the city, where other free-thinking country troubadours, including Lucinda Williams and Rosie Flores, made up their musical circle.
Los Angeles' sky-high rent soon became tiresome to Buddy. At the end of each month, he said, he was always looking for a guitar or piece of musical gear to sell. The Millers relocated to Nashville in 1993, and Buddy made inroads as a session guitarist and songwriter. He built a recording studio in their new home and recorded his solo debut, Your Love and Other Lies, a hard-charging country album released on HighTone. The record became a catalyst for good things, as mainstream country artists Brooks & Dunn and George Ducas mined it for their own album cuts. In 1995, Emmylou Harris asked Buddy to sing and play guitar in her band Spyboy. Buddy's 1997 follow-up, Poison Love, enlisted Steve Earle on guitar and Harris on backing vocals and was, once again, inspired by Buddy's love for old-time Appalachian and honky-tonk sounds.
Perhaps Buddy's greatest creative accomplishments were realized when he began teaming with his wife for a series of duet records, beginning with 2001's Buddy & Julie Miller. Julie's spare, ethereal voice and the purity of her songwriting melded perfectly with Buddy's tender, road-weary delivery, creating what Emmylou Harris described as "that wonderful third voice." The pair's most recent album, Written in Chalk, is the culmination of all their hard work and independent spirit, earning the Millers four Americana awards in 2009: Buddy as Artist of the Year, the couple as Duo/Group of the Year, Written in Chalk as Album of the Year, and Julie's song "Chalk" (sung by Buddy with Patty Griffin) as Song of the Year.
More recently, Buddy recorded an album for release next year with fellow guitar adventurers Bill Frisell, Greg Leisz and Marc Ribot, as the Majestic Silver Strings, and he's touring this summer with Patty Griffin and Robert Plant, after co-producing albums with both.
Buddy Miller residency event tickets can be purchased exclusively by Museum members for $40 beginning Friday, July 16, at 9:00 a.m. by visiting the Museum's Web site (A one-year Museum membership is $35, and ticket buyers must purchase membership prior to the on-sale date). Tickets will go on sale for $45 to the general public at 9:00 a.m. Tuesday, July 20, and should be purchased via the museum's Web site. Please note that there is a four-ticket limit, per show, to each order. For more information, call (615) 416-2001 or visit the Museum's Web site.
Special packages available include:
Dinner Package-$99 ($90 for Museum members)
Includes a dinner buffet provided by the Museum's Two Twenty-Two Grill & Catering, a performance ticket and reserved parking.
No Refunds or Exchanges
Member Subscription Package--$120 (Museum members only)
Includes one ticket to each Buddy Miller performance and one handmade Hatch Show Print poster commemorating the event.
No Refunds or Exchanges
Please note that there is a four-package limit to each order. For additional details on special packages, visit the Museum's Web site. Museum doors open at 5:15 p.m. for the 7:00 p.m. shows.
These programs are made possible, in part, by grants from the Metropolitan Nashville Arts Commission and by an agreement between the Tennessee Arts Commission and the National Endowment for the Arts.
Accredited by the American Association of Museums, the Country Music Hall of Fame® and Museum is operated by the Country Music Foundation, a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) educational organization chartered by the state of Tennessee in 1964. The Museum's mission is the preservation of the history of country and related vernacular music rooted in southern culture. With the same educational mission, the Foundation also operates CMF Records, the Museum's Frist Library and Archive, CMF Press, Historic RCA Studio B and Hatch Show Print®.
More information about the Country Music Hall of Fame® and Museum is available at www.countrymusichalloffame.org or by calling (615) 416-2001.