Chuck Prophet is making some of the best music of his
career. Jangly, unique and rocking, Prophet’s jams should be reaching a
bigger audience. But fickleness and modern tastes don’t always coincide
with true creativity that may be lying in the grass like a snake.
While there is now a genre of music
officially called Americana — a category that can either be
characterized as full of diverse artists who aren’t afraid of mixing
Roots music in with their sound or as a way to promote and market
artists who can’t get on Country radio — there is still an unfortunate
desire to drag artists like Liz Longley into the Country music miasma.
Ben Miller Band would be a perfect fit for a public goat ropin’.
Along with some more traditional instrumentation, like a drum kit or
acoustic guitar, the Ben Miller Band members will play a harmonica
through a 1960s home phone receiver with its cord still attached. Or
flush a washboard through a wah-wah pedal.
Many will remember Edward David Anderson
from the rootsy Rock band Backyard Tire Fire, in which he
wrote virtually every song the band performed and recorded. When the
group opened for Los Lobos a few years ago, Steve Berlin was listening backstage and was instantly impressed. That led to Berlin producing Anderson’s excellent new
album, Lies & Wishes.