Blues Bytes


January 2006

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Biscuit Miller
Come Together
Blue Bass

Biscuit Miller

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 it.

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 priceless.

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 Tears.

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 and at       

--- Tim Holek


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