ColoradoSprings.com

Jason Miller has long been a fixture in the local music scene, first performing at MeadowGrass in 2010 with his band The Genuwines.  Last month the J. Miller band released their second album, ‘The Road to Elvado,’ an exceptional set of ten original songs written by Miller, who is a skillful storyteller and a keen observer of the human experience.  The timeless tunes on the new recording draw inspiration from bluegrass, Americana and western swing traditions.  In addition to Miller on guitar and lead vocals, the band includes Jason Gilmore on mandolin and lead guitar, Hans Schopen on drums, and Andrew Koken on bass.

American Songwriter Magazine

One More High Means One More Low earns Honorable Mention in American Songwriter Magazine's May/June 2012 Lyric Contest!

 

One More High Means One More Low

Everytime I get to feeling fine

Just a brush of misery in the back of my mind

I'm standing in the shadows just because I know

One more high means one more low

Chorus

One more high means one more low

An eye for an eye Diamonds for coal

For every mountain there's a hole

One more high means one more low

I've walked in love and I've walked in hate

They're doing time together but love was framed

Climbing out the valley all my troubles in tow

One more high means one more low

Chorus

I've tried to get even with this honery hide

Keep telling myself that it's just a ride

Four of a kind but I still fold

Cuz One more high means one more low

Jason Miller JMILLZ 2012 All rights reserved Copyright 2012

 

The Marquee Music Magazine

The J. Miller Band

Road to Elvado

Independent

3 out of 5 stars

Starting out with the beautiful bluegrass melody of “Holding You,” J. Miller and company show that Boulder isn’t the only county in Colorado blessed with bluegrass aficionados and honky-tonk twangers.

On The Road to Elvado the Colorado Springs pickers blend straight-up bluegrass with impressive Americana and singer/songwriter prowess. The playing is tight, the vocals strong and the songwriting is seasoned. Some songs get a bit heavy on traditional country, but the playing overshadows any of those pitfalls.

Colorado Springs Independent

 

The J. Miller Band

 

 

Gram Parson's Influence Lives On!

Local Gram Parsons devotees are in luck this week — at least to the degree that people obsessed with a country-rock legend who died at the age of 26 nearly four decades ago are likely to be.

Over the next couple nights, you can go catch two great box-state troubadours who are carrying on in the tradition of the late musician whose Grevious Angel ushered in an era of what he liked to call "cosmic American music".

First, there's Casey James Prestwood & the Burning Angels, who are coming to SouthSide Johnnys tonight (tonight being Thursday). I caught the group opening for Slim Cessna at theBluebird Theater this past New Year's Eve, and can vouch for the veracity of the claim that Prestwood's croon is "drenched in the honest twang that made Gram Parsons and Hank Williams household names."

And then there's the J. Miller Band's CD release show this Friday at the Lon Chaney Theatre. You can read an interview with Jason Miller in this week's Indy (or online here), where he talks about Parsons' influence and Miller's own pilgrimage to the mystical Joshua Tree National Park in his honor.

Colorado Springs Independent

Sunday morning coming down 

Jason Miller and his band take a more reflective approach on their Road to ElVado

Back in the mid-'90s, just around the time that Jason Miller was getting out of the Air Force, country legend Ralph Stanley had an album out called Saturday Night & Sunday Morning. As the title suggested, the songs were divided up between late-night reverie and early-morning reflection.

On Road to ElVado, the J. Miller Band veers more toward the latter. Produced by the Haunted Windchimes' Inaiah Lujan, tracks like "Waiting on My Time" and "So Long Corinne" would fit nicely on a mixtape alongside songs by Gram Parsons and Townes Van Zandt.

"In Spanish, 'el vado' means 'the crossing,' and this whole record to me was really just a representation of my maturity," says the Colorado Springs singer-songwriter, who recently turned 40.

"It was like, I finally get this now, what makes a good song. And whether it captivates you or not, it captivates me. I'm real selfish about it."

Or generous, depending on how you look at it. Even Miller's most personal lyrics convey universal sentiments.

And then there's the title track, an Old West narrative worthy of Texas troubadours Terry Allen and Guy Clark:

And the town lay sleeping

As the lawmen were creeping

She slowly stepped into the light

She yelled "Vaya con Dios

El agua mia caballo

Now who's the first sumbitch to die?"

Miller sees ElVado as a departure from his first studio album, which was recorded at Bill Douglass' Royal Recording with a big sound bolstered by Bryant Jones on Hammond B-3. "It was overproduced a little bit," recalls Miller, "but we had fun doing it."

For this album, the arrangements were built around an acoustic ensemble featuring Miller's old Genuwines bandmate Jason Jackson on dobro and backing vocals, Jason Gilmore on mandolin, Ben Lewis on fiddle, and Andrew Koken on bass. Friday's CD release show will find the acoustic band playing with some guest musicians from the album, followed by a full-on electric set.

"We'll have nice Telecasters and vintage amplifiers," says Miller. "And we've got Hans Schopen, who toured with that metal band Khrinj. So we've got this big-ass metal drummer, you know, playing country music."

Road from Valparaiso

Miller's own interest in combining country and rock goes back to his youth in Valparaiso, a small Indiana town that's home to a Lutheran university and not much else.

It was there that the future musician spent time listening to Bruce Springsteen records, followed in turn by the outlaw country of Ray Wylie Hubbard and the psychedelic country of Parsons and the Flying Burrito Brothers.

"I actually visited Joshua Tree and hung out there for a little while," says Miller of a pilgrimage to the national park where Parsons and Keith Richards communed with a variety of worlds. "They would take a bunch of drugs and go out in the desert and try to find UFOs."

Miller says he continues to be inspired by Parsons' music and the originality it embodied.

"I love Gram's individuality, and I loved the fact that he was a very mediocre vocalist, but he didn't care. And I absolutely loved his songwriting, because to me it was so unorthodox. Like 'A Song for You' — the lyrics were really kind of far out, but you knew what he was talking about. And then he brought it all together with a beautiful chorus. You know, he was a country guy who was just edgy."

Genuwine validation

After Miller left the service, he and his wife Allison relocated to Colorado Springs to be near relatives and raise a family. The musician spent years working as a mortgage broker, before leaving the white-collar world to start a roofing business that gives him more freedom to pursue his music.

Miller had put in a lot of time playing bars with the Genuwines by the time he hooked up with Lujan, whose own group had gone from playing every gig they were offered to a more selective approach that's led to national touring and an appearance on A Prairie Home Companion.

"Inaiah kind of brought everybody up a little bit," says Miller of the Haunted Windchimes leader. "It was like: 'Hey, we're doing this, you can do it too. But you have to treat your art with respect.'"

Miller describes ElVado's producer as "a young kid who's very old on the inside."

"He was just a great positive inspiration. Every time I'd start wigging out about something, he'd calm me down. He's about as patient as it gets."

As for live shows, Miller says he's most comfortable these days playing cafes and the occasional small theater.

"It's really hard for a guy like me to go down to the Triple Nickel and sit down and play," he says. "It's all about the environment, and I've learned that.

"You have to play the right gigs and be honest with yourself and know where you fit. It's amazing how many people don't."

bill@csindy.com

Hey Reverb-Denver Post

Trade your hip-hop for hayseeds as we move on to the alt-country of the J.Miller Band. The Colorado Springs-based quartet (plus several collaborators) will release its second studio album, “The Road to Elvado,” this Friday. Built on the sturdy songwriting and unadorned voice of Jason Miller, the record’s 10 heartfelt tracks ring like the bell on a train’s caboose and sparkle like the mica dust that collects on your boots. With Jason Gilmore on mandolin and lead guitar, Hans Schopen on drums and Andrew Koken on bass, the foursome — ably assisted by Ben Lewis on fiddle and Jason Jackson on dobro — can kick up a hootenanny, drawing inspiration from bluegrass and Western swing traditions. However, the boys are at their best when they’re trying to break your heart, as on “Holding You,” which you can steal below.

The Colorado Springs Gazette

The J. Miller Band will follow with a mellow blend of new country and Americana, all built around thoughtful and evocative lyrics by founder Jason Miller. He draws from his childhood in a small town in northwestern Indiana, where the bars got crowded when the steel mills closed.

Heartache runs through their music, as you’d expect in country tunes. But don’t call them country.

“We don’t like to say country,” Miller says. “We’re really not country. We have definite influences from old country.”

Certainly, the Americana label fits more comfortably, and their diverse fan base speaks to their eclectic styles.

J. Miller, which has played in various configurations at clubs around the region for two decades, may be reaching for the next step.

“We try to play the right places, the places where folks come to listen to live music"!

They’re trying to focus on building a place on the festival circuit and improving their music.

“Stardom — you can keep that,” Miller says. “Make a living off playing music is like playing in the NBA.  It’s a super long shot. What I’m hoping for is just to have a really good band, and that people take notice. We’ve already come so much further than I thought possible.”

Pow'r Pick'n

 

"Jason and his J.Miller Band specialize in Alt Country both acoustic and electrified, as well as straying into Bluegrass territory-with excellent instrumentals and compelling self written lyrics about everyday situations, often times reminiscent of Jerry Jeff Walker or Shades of Gram Parsons".
Cathleen Norman_Pow'r Pick'n

"Jason and his J.Miller Band specialize in Alt Country both acoustic and electrified, as well as straying into Bluegrass territory-with excellent instrumentals and compelling self written lyrics about everyday situations, often times reminiscent of Jerry Jeff Walker or Shades of Gram Parsons".Cathleen Norman_Pow'r Pick'n

 

Colorado Springs Independent

Jason Miller - Indy Music Awards 2013 

Americana

click to enlargeBRYAN OLLER
  • BRYAN OLLER

This past year has been one of extremes for singer-songwriter and bandleader Jason Miller. His artistry continues to reach higher levels; in fact, that was literally the case with the recent live album he recorded on the roof of the Loft music venue. (Yes, he's a Beatles fan.)

But he and his family were also among those whose homes were leveled in the Black Forest Fire. While music has offered some solace in the disaster's aftermath, it's likely to be a while before the experience finds its way into his songwriting.

"It'd be so clichéd to run out and write a bunch of songs about it," says Miller. "I started toying around with one, but I just shelved the whole thing. You know, I've got some ideas, but it's gonna take time."

Click here for more on the Indy Music Awards Festival.

Meanwhile, he's planning on recording a new studio album with his band. Bill Douglass, who recorded his 2008 Past Due album, will once again be at the production helm, and the singer-songwriter is excited to capture the live feel of his current band in the studio.

"I write specifically for that band and that sound," says Miller of his group's knack for combining tight arrangements without sacrificing emotional impact. "That's what I love about this collection of musicians. They're just so about the music and playing together."

2nd place: Joe Johnson

3rd place: Changing Colors

Colorado Springs Independent

 

Jason Miller - Indy Music Awards 2013 

 

Americana

click to enlargeBRYAN OLLER
  • Bryan Oller

This past year has been one of extremes for singer-songwriter and bandleader Jason Miller. His artistry continues to reach higher levels; in fact, that was literally the case with the recent live album he recorded on the roof of the Loft music venue. (Yes, he's a Beatles fan.)

But he and his family were also among those whose homes were leveled in the Black Forest Fire. While music has offered some solace in the disaster's aftermath, it's likely to be a while before the experience finds its way into his songwriting.

"It'd be so clichéd to run out and write a bunch of songs about it," says Miller. "I started toying around with one, but I just shelved the whole thing. You know, I've got some ideas, but it's gonna take time."

Click here for more on the Indy Music Awards Festival.

Meanwhile, he's planning on recording a new studio album with his band. Bill Douglass, who recorded his 2008 Past Due album, will once again be at the production helm, and the singer-songwriter is excited to capture the live feel of his current band in the studio.

"I write specifically for that band and that sound," says Miller of his group's knack for combining tight arrangements without sacrificing emotional impact. "That's what I love about this collection of musicians. They're just so about the music and playing together."

2nd place: Joe Johnson

3rd place: Changing Colors

http://www.csindy.com/coloradosprings/jason-miller-indy-music-awards-2013/Content?oid=2747962

 

 

One More High One More Low -Best Album-Indy Awards -2014

The J. Miller Band- Voted Best Album Indy Music Awards-2014

Album (One More High One More Low)

Style of music, in 10 words or less: "Grateful Willie with a Gram of Bluegrass"

Three artists he owes everything to: Gram Parsons, Townes Van Zandt and Jerry Garcia

Members:Jason Miller (vocals, rhythm guitar), Jason Gilmore (lead guitar, mandolin), Rick Starkey (bass), Teddy Nazzario (drums)

Debut performance: 1975 ("At the age of 4 with a Buck Owens look-alike guitar, my mom's boots, and I believe it was a sold out show in my mind.")

Recordings: Past Due (2008), Road to ElVado (2010), The Rooftop Collection: Live at The Loft (2012), One More High One More Low (2014).

Why it matters: Well, in large part, because it's incredibly good. The follow-up to Jason Miller's also-excellent Road to ElVado, One More High One More Low's highlights include "Get Back to Graceland," which is the kind of ballad that could have made George Jones smile in approval, as well as other tracks that wouldn't have sounded out of place in a Jayhawks or Flying Burrito Brothers set. Penned in the wake of the Black Forest Fire that leveled his home, Miller's collection of heartfelt new songs was written with the talents of his bandmates in mind, and the result is a seamless Americana effort that stands as his best work yet.

2nd place: We Are Not a Glum Lot, self-titled

3rd place: Eros & the Eschaton, Home Address for Civil War

The Independent

http://www.csindy.com/coloradosprings/jmiller-band/Content?oid=3331252 

The Colorado Springs Independent

WINNER-2015 Best Americana Artist-Colorado Springs Independent Music Awards-The J.Miller Band  

WINNER- Best Country Album-One More High One More Low- 2015 New Mexico Music Awards

WINNER-Album of the Year-One More High One More Low-2014 Colorado Springs Independent Music Awards