Ben Miller Band bring new album "Choke Cherry Tree" to Europe this summer17-04-2018
"I like the idea of saying something very complicated in a very simple way," Ben Miller states. "That's what we strive for musically, and what I strive for lyrically—to get directly to the point."
Getting to the point is something that the Ben Miller Band does consistently on Choke Cherry Tree, the Joplin, Missouri-bred combo's third album and second New West release. The consistently compelling set offers 11 new examples of Miller's deceptively unpretentious songcraft, beneath whose ramshackle exterior lurks sturdy, infectious melodies and resonant, emotionally insightful lyrics.
Choke Cherry Tree introduces a retooled Ben Miller Band lineup, with Miller and fellow founding member Scott Leeper joined by new additions Rachel Ammons and Smilin' Bob Lewis. The pair's multi-instrumental skills bring added authority to Miller's rootsy new compositions, while maintaining the high energy level (complete with homemade instruments constructed from broken and discarded axes) that originally endeared the band to its fans.
The hard-working unit first won a regional fan base through old-fashioned ingenuity and an unstinting work ethic, generating a national buzz and a high-profile tour of Europe with ZZ Top, thanks to the patronage of avowed BMB fan Billy Gibbons.
The Ben Miller Band's early D.I.Y. approach extended to the lo-tech, largely self-built, instruments that the members still play on stage, including Miller's thrift-shop guitars and banjos and Scott Leeper's one-string washtub bass. The band's use of offbeat instrumentation, however, shouldn't be misunderstood as a gimmick.
In August and September the band will be over for an extensive European tour, announced today:
25/08: Herselt (BE) @ Gevarenwinkel Festival
26/08: Rotterdam (NL) @ Rotown
27/08: Hamburg (DE) @ Logo
28/08: Dusseldorf (DE) @ Pitcher
30/08: Jablonec nad Nisou (CZ) @ Eurocentrum
31/08: Hannover (DE) @ Bluesgarage
01/09: Amsterdam (NL) @ Paradiso
03/09: London (UK) @ O2 Academy 2 Islington
04/09: Glasgow (UK) @ ABC 2
05/09: Cardiff (UK) @ Clwb Ifor Bach
06/09: Oxford (UK) @ O2 Academy2
08/09: Lauchammer (DE) @ Real Music Club
10/09: Berlin (DE) @ Quasimodo
11/09: München (DE) @ Backstage Club
12/09: Prague (CZ) @ Cafe v lese
14/09: Utrecht (NL) @ De Helling