Buddy & Julie
Miller – Breakdown On 20th Avenue South
This CD launches with a mysterious guitar that hypnotizes and beckons
us into what will become our fascinating world for the next 45 minutes.
I have been curious for 10 years as to why we have not heard from them
as a team. Perhaps Julie was not
well. Perhaps Buddy was busy with his
many projects. Now it is clear that they
were exploring the cosmos and taking notes.
This record is that special, that different.
If this is Country Music, it is hard to believe that it came from this
country, or from this planet for that matter.
Julie’s voice is hauntingly extraterrestrial and Buddy’s harmonies are
perfectly matched and synchronized.
Throughout the record, the drum booms like a herd of Brontosaurus as
they methodically trod the Jurassic forest floor.
Each song is a lyrical feast of clarity, honesty, and truth.
There is a reason why you now find Buddy Miller everywhere you look.
On every track, the guitars are vehicles, spaceships, mood rings, echo
canyons, submarines, back loaders. The
accompanying instruments are flowers on the wall paper of Buddy’s
subconscious. He is a master craftsman,
musician, and producer.
The recording itself, as a piece of work, as a work of art, is an
exorcism of sorts. It is a recollection
and a regaining of love and sanity for the artists and for the audience. This is not baby talk. If you understand it, then you must have been
enlightened through pain and sacrifice.
It is at once organic and electric. At once it brings to life the great traditions
of American Folk Music and seamlessly splices it into an untold vision of the
future. It is its own genre.
If you have not yet heard this album, then you should make the effort
as soon as possible. I will not detail
each song individually here because in my mind they are separate but connect
limbs of one body.
It is no surprise that Breakdown on 20th Avenue South was my personal
choice for record of the year in 2019.
It has taken me this long to work up the nerve to describe my
interpretation of it.
Buddy & Julie Miller together have offered us all a great gift.
As they say down in Nashville, “come and get it”
if you dare.
Breakdown On 20th Avenue South was released in June 2019 by New West
Reviewed by Joe Kidd –
JKSB Media LLC
for Country Music
28 April 2020