Home Read Albums Of The Week: Buddy & Julie Miller | In The Throes

Albums Of The Week: Buddy & Julie Miller | In The Throes

For the Americana couple's fourth joint disc in 22 years, Julie supposedly penned almost 100 songs to find this gorgeous dozen. Can we hear the other 88, please?

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Buddy & Julie Miller’s new 12-song set In The Throes was produced by Buddy and features Emmylou Harris, Regina McCrary, Larry Campbell and Teresa Williams, Gurf Morlix and Matt Slocum of Sixpence None the Richer. In The Throes follows 2019’s Breakdown On 20th Ave. South, which was the couple’s first album in a decade.

In The Throes is a deeply soulful collision of dusty country, mournful gospel, cosmic blues, and ecstatic R&B. It sounds lively and diverse, eccentric and slightly askew, thorny with desire and blame. The fearless collection came to life during an intensely creative period for Julie. She says, “I got deep into songwriting mode, and they just kept coming along.” Buddy watched with wonder and admiration as his wife filled up notebooks with lyrics and recorded voice memos with melodies. By his count, she ended up with more than 100 songs — some fully written, others simply fragments. Julie wrote every song on the album with the exception of Don’t Make Her Cry, which is a rare co-write between Bob Dylan, McCrary and Julie.

“ ‘Don’t Make Her Cry‘ were the words Regina McCrary’s father, Rev. Sam McCrary, said to Bob when they met at a Nashville show in 1978 shortly after she joined his band,” Buddy reveals. Three decades later, they finally wrote lyrics to the song together in Huntsville, AL. When it came to writing the music, Bob said to Regina, ‘give it to Buddy Miller.’ I then passed it to Julie, who added more lyrics, moved others around, and set it to music.” Featuring a sympathetic lead vocal from Buddy, Don’t Make Her Cry sits naturally on the album: A soft-spoken ode to perseverance and protection.

Photo by Jeff Fasano.

Elsewhere, the roots-rockin’ title track deals with the toll taken on a relationship when one partner is constantly gone, on the road, working and preoccupied. Meanwhile, I’ll Never Live It Down, says Buddy, “is a song about capricious love and the heartbreak it brings.”

Named Instrumentalist Of The Year multiple times by the Americana Music Association, Buddy Miller is a highly sought-after producer and guitarist who has worked with Willie Nelson, Linda Ronstadt, Robert Plant, Elvis Costello, John Fogerty, Solomon Burke, Frank Black of Pixies, Steve Earle and more. He also joined T Bone Burnett on the musical team working on the hit series Nashville, and following Burnett’s departure, became the show’s executive music producer. Alongside Jim Lauderdale, Buddy is also the co-host of The Buddy & Jim Show on SiriusXM.

Julie Miller is a critically acclaimed solo artist whose debut album was released in 1990. A brilliant songwriter, Julie’s songs have been recorded by Levon Helm, Solomon Burke, Emmylou Harris, Linda Ronstadt, Miranda Lambert, Dierks Bentley, Wynonna Judd, Lee Ann Womack, Diana Krall and countless others. Between them, they have a Grammy Award and several nominations, 13 Americana Music Association Awards, and scores of gold and platinum records from other artists who have cut their songs.

After over 40 years of marriage, Buddy & Julie Miller have recorded only four albums as a duo, but they are always creating, always making art together. They’ve pushed hard at the boundaries of Americana music, devising their own idiosyncratic and imaginative equation of styles and genres. “Music is such a wonderful thing to have in a relationship,” Buddy says. “That’s how we met back in Austin in the mid-’70s. We started playing together, and we’ve been playing together ever since. I love her writing and she tolerates my singing and playing. It’s a lot of give and take, but it’s such a joy.”

With In the Throes, their stamp is on every note, every word.”


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