Buddy Miller Recovering After Heart Surgery

Buddy Miller, one of Nashville’s most prolific singers, songwriters, guitarists, recording artists and producers suffered a heart attack in Baltimore, Md., on Thursday, Feb. 19. He was on tour with Emmylou Harris, Patty Griffin and Shawn Colvin; the tour is dubbed “3 Girls And Their Buddy.”

Miller, 56, was taken to John Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, and he underwent a triple-bypass heart surgery on Friday, Feb. 20. The surgery was successful, and Miller will likely be recovering in Baltimore for several weeks.

Named the “Artist of the Decade” by No Depression magazine, Miller has written songs that have been recorded by the Dixie Chicks, Lee Ann Womack, Brooks & Dunn and others. He is a veteran of Harris’ Spyboy band, and in the past year he has been touring as a featured instrumentalist in Robert Plant and Alison Krauss’ band. He has produced albums for Solomon Burke, Allison Moorer, Jimmie Dale Gilmore and others. Miller has lately been producing a new album for Patty Griffin. He has been called “the best country singer” alive by Steve Earle.

Miller is married to Nashville singer-songwriter Julie Miller, and the pair have a duo album coming out on New West Records on March 3. (source: tennessean.com) Update: Word is that Miller didn’t actually have a heart attack, but was experiencing chest pains when he was taken to the hospital.

Buddy Miller – Written in Chalk


Politics in Country Music

It’s that time in America again. We as a nation are generally disinterested in exercising our civil duty as citizens of this great Democracy by voting, but every four years we move from general disinterest to the mild annoyance that moves a third of us to vote for president.

It always sort of makes me cringe when a celebrity speaks out about politics. Sure if they have the right to speak out about the issues that concern them, but their fame is not based on their adept understanding of foreign policy or economic issues so they typically come off looking goofy and damaging their brand. So why is country music different?

I tuned into the news today to see Hank Williams Jr. warming up a crowd in Virginia for Republican candidate for president John McCain (actually he warmed them up for GOP vice-president candidate Sarah Palin who then warmed them up for McCain) (edit: you can hear his campaign song “McCain-Palin Tradition here), John Rich (the shorter, darker half of Big and Rich) penned McCain a song “Raisin’ McCain”, Merle Haggard wrote ‘Let’s Put a Woman in Charge” for the Hillary Clinton campaign, Ralph Stanley recently endorsed Democratic candidate for president Barack Obama and Obama used Brooks & Dunn’s “Only In America” played after his acceptance speech at the DNC convention in Mile High Stadium.

Personally I’m glade that country/roots music is taking more of bipartisan approach to politics and no longer just seen as the birthright to either party. How about you reader? What do you think of country music in politics?

Kris Kristofferson – In The News


Country Music Hearts Obama!

I remember the comedian Chris Rock on a cable filmed stand-up special saying something like what is the world coming to when the top  rapper in the world is white (Eminem) and the top golfer in the world is black (Tiger Woods)?

I felt sort of like that the other night when Sen. Barack Obama’s historic speech at Mile High Stadium was capped off by  ”Only in America” by the NashVegas version of Hall and Oates, Brooks & Dunn. This is the same song George Bush used at the Republican Convention last election. One half of the duo, Ronnie Dunn is a staunch Republican but the song’s co-writer, Don Cook, is a founder of the Music Row Democrats so I guess it’s a Nashville pop-country equivalent of bi-partisanship.

Here’s a note to the DNC and Democratic candidates everywhere, there are great artists that make country music that actually LIKE you and stand for at least some of what you advocate. Ever hear of Steve Earle or the Dixie Chicks?

If that wasn’t enough I read that Mr.”Boot in the ass” Toby Keith has thrown his support behind Obama (though it seems it’s only because Obama is able to act white.) Keith states that he’s a life-long Democrat but he appears to be more like the right-wing Dixie-crats I remember when I was growing up in Dallas. Mr. Keith apparently gets peeved when people accuse him of being a GOP fan. I wonder where they might have gotten that idea?!

Thank goodness there’s some things you can still count on with Nashville pop-country music and uased as a backdrop for patiotic symbolism- John Rich. the shorter half of the insipid duo Big and Rich, and raging homophobic weasel, penned a love song to John McCain cleverly entitled “Raisin’ McCain,” The song will be featured at the GOP convention and it predictably sucks.

Toby Keith’s Pro-Obama Anthem (a parody)