Review courtesy of our guest columnist, Rei Nishimoto.
Country music has quickly grown into more than a genre best recognized by artists such as Hank Williams and Johnny Cash. Over the past couple of decades, its image has expanded to include such new faces such as Jason Charles Miller, where he brings a new look and feel to a somewhat familiar sound.
At tonight’s show at the Whisky in West Hollywood, Miller and his band put on a solid set of familiar songs that captures what many would envision country music – bluesy Southern style melodies with a swinging feel that draws music listeners in immediately. Brothers (and twins), Adam Hall on the banjo and dobro, and bassist Zack Hall, along with fiddler Benedikt Brydem, drummer David Daniel Diaz, guitarists Willie Von Arx and Brett Boyett, all keep the band’s sound solid, and rarely misses a step throughout their set. His eclectic selection of musicians within his band brings out definitely helps solidify his overall sound into something worth checking out.
One area that separates Miller from many country artists in today’s scene is that his tattooed image creates an edgy imagine most artists in that genre do not necessarily have. In songs such as “Uncountry,” he humorously sings about their unwillingness to accept anything beyond the norm. On the other hand, he is still able to work in more traditional country sounding tunes into his setlist without straying too far away from the original feel of the genre. But in his own way, he is able to win fans over with his charisma and his strong vocal range.
While the debate wages on about whether Nashville is truly ready to embrace Miller and his so called alt-country sound with open arms, he has moved ahead and brought his music to the people instead. Tonight’s show was an indication that there is no stopping him from giving music to the people who want something outside of the norm.