Miller writes roots-rocking barnburners, thoughtful ballads and left-field departures with melodic skill and lyrical insight, and the band elucidates them with urgency and eloquence.
The hard working threesome has already won a substantial -– and still-growing – grassroots fan base through old-fashioned ingenuity and an unstinted work ethic. Their D.I.Y. success has also led to some high profile touring with ZZ Top, thanks to the enthusiastic patronage of avowed fan Billy Gibbons. Opening for ZZ Top on a 2013 tour of Europe, the humble BMB wowed unfamiliar crowds on stages in large halls and arenas, including a triumphant set at the fabled Montreaux Jazz Festival.
The Ben Miller Band’s homespun, self-reliant approach extends to the lo-tech, and largely self-built, instruments that the members play on stage and in the studio, e.g. singer-songwriter Miller’s thrift-shop guitars and banjos, bassist Scott Leeper’s one-string washtub bass – comprised of a weed-eater string attached to a wooden pole – and Doug Dicharry’s varied arsenal: trombone, trumpet, mandolin, electric washboard and electric spoons.
The band’s use of offbeat instrumentation, however, shouldn’t be misunderstood as a gimmick. Instead, the three band-mates have mastered the technical challenges of their unconventional axes to produce a uniquely evocative ensemble sound that offers a compelling frame for Miller’s compositions.
The same maverick spirit that motivated BMB’s early musical adventures came into play recording their new album “Any Way, Shape or Form,” which they cut with seasoned producer Vance Powell, who’s renowned for his studio work with the likes of Jack White, Buddy Guy, Wanda Jackson, Willie Nelson and Kings of Leon.