Scott Miller is best known for non-stop touring with his band the Commonwealth, for being one of the founders of the seminal roots rock band The V-Roys and for his eight prior critically acclaimed albums including the recent Appalachian Refugee Demos. In fact, it was with proceeds from Internet sales of these demos made with a Marantz hard-disc recorder (with handmade cover art for each copy) that he financed For Crying Out Loud. The album, released last year on Miller’s own F.A.Y. Recordings, was produced by Nashville producer Mike Webb (Allison Moorer, Stacey Earle, Glenn Tilbrook) and features the Commonwealth (guitarist/keyboardist Jeremy Pennebaker, bassist Chris Autry and drummer Shawn McWilliams) and includes guest artists Patty Griffin and Tim O’Brien.

In making the new album, Miller took the idea one step further: He’d have the band play to guitar and vocal performances on those demos, building them into full-on band tracks. The ultimate wisdom of this wild notion can be found within the smokin’ grooves of For Crying Out Loud. The album possesses a prevailing character and gritty, hard-earned spirit. It’s jammed full of scrappy, defiant rockers, interspersed with tender tunes suffused with the quiet joys of home and hearth. The pummeling, power-chord driven opener “Cheap Ain’t Cheap (For Crying Out Loud)” is a shout-along anthem for the legions of newly unemployed. Miller had a hunch that the blackly (and bleakly) humorous song “would be a great soundtrack for the (then) impending economic meltdown which I had predicted years ago but wasn’t smart enough to do anything about — like buy stock in cardboard boxes that people use to put their desk junk in when they lose their jobs.”

“Let You Down,” co-written with Doug Lancio (who produced two of the tracks on For Crying Out Loud) is an exercise in brutal self-awareness. Lancio and Miller also teamed up for the eerie sounding “Double Indemnity,” a tale based on the actual murder case that inspired Billy Wilder’s classic film. The Cajun-spiced torque of “Claire Marie” channels the very essence of seminal rock and roll, and then there’s the wicked-clever “Sin In Indiana,” its characters — Henry Streator, Chalmers Wolcott and Magnolia Hempstead — named after exit signs Miller had spotted and dutifully jotted down while touring the Midwest with his band.

The record’s gentle side is represented by the gorgeous “I’m Right Here, My Love,” a ballad on which he’s joined by Patty Griffin. “The thing I like about working with Patty is that we got along great before we’d even heard each other’s music,” Scott marvels. “We also grew up in the same home town, except mine was in Virginia and hers was in Maine.”

“One of the best songwriters living today.” – Patty Griffin

1) Cheap Ain’t Cheap (For Crying Out Loud)
2) Sin In Indiana
3) Iron Gate
4) I’m Right Here, My Love (w/ Patty Griffin)
5) Let You Down
6) Heart In Harm’s Way
7) Wildcat Whistle
8) She’s Still Mine
9) Claire Marie
10) I Can’t Dance (by Tom T. Hall)
11) Feel So Fair To Midland
12) Double Indemnity
13) Appalachian Refugee

May 15 SkunkFarm (solo), Greer, SC
May 27 Twilight Alive, Kingsport, TN
Jun 3 Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, Richmond, VA (support for Patty Griffin)
Jun 5 Smoky Mountain Blast, Knoxville, TN
Jul 2 Historic Masonic Theatre, Clifton Forge, VA
Feb 13-18, 2011 Norwegian Cruise Line’s Norwegian Pearl “Cayamo: A Journey Through Song” with: John Prine, Steve Earle, Patty Griffin, Buddy Miller, Indigo Girls, Jim Bianco, Will Hoge, Kevin Kinney, Scott Miller, Allison Moorer, Shawn Mullins, Ellis Paul, Chuck Cannon, Tyrone Wells, Sam & Ruby

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