If you have seen Lonnie Brooks or Anthony Gomes
perform in concert, surely you remember their wild and perpetually
smiling bass man. Dave Miller, entrepreneur and recording artist,
lives in Highland, Indiana. He was affectionately christened
“Biscuit” by his Grandmother after he devoured a whole pan of
home-baked biscuits. Willie Dixon and Lucky Peterson inspired
Biscuit to play the blues. Rufus Thomas encouraged him to seriously
pursue a professional career as a bass player.
In addition to the members of Miller’s band, The
Mix, 21 guests were used on this CD. However, a congruent flow is
maintained, which commendably misleads the listener to conclude the
songs were recorded by one single band.
Come Together is one of the most overlooked
CDs of the decade. The record is an illuminant collection of Chicago’s
present-day blues artists – with Biscuit leading the pack.
Miller’s joy for living comes across on several
original tracks. The title track is loaded with his bounding energy and
funk. The song describes the sad state of being judged about things such
as color, race, creed, possessions, etc that divide us. The message
here, love and happiness, is simple to say and difficult to execute.
Kudos to Biscuit for preaching this point and, by all accounts, living
The danceable Build Me Up, about being wound
up by the woman you love, makes you feel good. It’s a funk-rock ditty as
only Biscuit and Gomes can produce. You’ll feel like you can’t stop
moving to the progressive electric blues on Let’s Go Fishing.
Here, Billy Branch’s churning harp is as witty as the lyrics, while the
playful bantering between Biscuit and sultry R&B kitten Nellie Travis is
Miller’s forceful vocals sound like a tried and
true soul crooner on If It Makes You Happy. The romantic pop song
deals with pleasing your woman and loving every minute of it. Stay In
The House Blues combines Biscuit’s prominent bass with Joanna
Conner’s absolutely cranking slide.
With the help of renowned guitarists Lonnie Brooks
and Ronnie Baker Brooks, Pretty Leg Woman sounds as fine as a
great pair of legs look. Heaven Knows is an electrifying
six-string instrumental cyclone featuring the G3 of contemporary blues
guitar – Baker Brooks, Stan Winfield, and Jimmie Jacobs. Carl
Weathersby’s unforgettable stinging guitar is heard on Wipe Your
When you are a bass player, you usually take a
backseat and rely on other band members to excel on their instruments.
There is no denying that Biscuit’s guest mates are impressive,
especially Daddy I on guitar, Daryl Coutts on keyboards, Myron Harvey on
saxophone, and Big James Montgomery on trombone. But they needed a
masterful conductor. They had it in the form of Miller, who
enthusiastically pulled everything together into a single ensemble.
Biscuit Miller is loaded with persona and charisma.
Both exude on this 13-song CD. One listen to this harmonious disc and
you’ll be asking where this guy has been. It is an independent release
that should have been on a major label. Why this terrific CD has been
missed and ignored by the industry is a mystery. Available at the gig
--- Tim Holek