Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Ben Miller Band's Introduces Its "Ozark Stomp" on New West Debut "Any Way, Shape Or Form" Due August 5



LOS ANGELES, CA, May 21, 2014 - Combining the urgency of rock and roll, the frenetic energy of bluegrass, the soul of the delta blues and the haunted spirit of Appalachian mountain music in to a unique musical stew they dub "Ozark Stomp," Ben Miller Band will release its sophomore album, Any Way, Shape Or FormAugust 5 on
New West Records. Produced by Vance Powell (Jack White, Kings of Leon, Wanda Jackson) at Sputnik Studios in Nashville, the LP was recorded in between tours supporting legendary Texas rockers ZZ Top and signifies the Joplin, MO-based band's New West Records debut. The one-of-a kind trio is sharing the first track "Hurry Up And Wait" viaThe Onion's AV Club who called it a "stomper." 

Any Way, Shape or Form is the band's battle cry and encapsulates its DIY philosophy. "The title refers to our method of using any means necessary to get the songs across," singer/guitarist Ben Miller explains. From the genre hopping and melding of a century's worth of wide-ranging influences to their makeshift instruments, unstinting work ethic and must-see live show, it's a statement that rings true in everything they do and one that has helped them develop a grassroots following. 

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 weedeater string attached to a wooden pole - and drummer Doug Dicharry'svaried arsenal: trombone, trumpet, mandolin, electric washboard and electric spoons. Their use of offbeat instrumentation shouldn't be misunderstood as a gimmick, however. "What I really care about is songs, and the rest of it is just a vehicle to get you to that destination," Miller says, adding, "Just because we use junk to make music doesn't mean we aren't serious about it." 

Any Way, Shape Or Form is an exhilarating listen that opens with the barnburner "The Outsider" and moves from the roadhouse blues of "You Don't Know" to the thoughtful country ballad of "I Feel For You," the searing jam of "Burning Building" to left-field departures like "23 Skidoo," which sees the band hopping from Dixieland jazz to a Tom Waitsian dirge to Santo & Johnny's iconic "Sleep Walk" in the same song. While those tunes show off Miller's songwriting craftsmanship, a memorable workout on the Appalachian folk song "The Cuckoo" underlines the band's interpretive abilities and turns tradition on its head with Dicharry's effects-laden electric spoons playing.

"We wanted to keep the record as live as possible," Miller explains, "so we recorded it live and did lots of takes. That was important to us, because we've been a live band for our whole career, and we wanted that to come across in the recordings, that feel of guys playing in a space together. We worked long days in the studio for about a month, we just played the songs over and over, pushing ourselves to maintain the high energy level of our shows."

Since forming in 2004, the hard-working unit has been turning heads and amassing a growing fan base through old-fashioned ingenuity and an unrelenting work ethic of playing as live as much as possible. In 2012, the Ben Miller Band took its first tentative steps in the recording studio, resulting in the embryonic self-released album, Heavy Load. Since the release they have generated a national buzz that has resulted in glowing press and 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, BMB wowed unfamiliar crowds on stages in large halls and arenas, including a triumphant set at the fabled Montreaux Jazz Festival in Switzerland. Gibbons has asked the band to open for them once again and the Ben Miller Band will support ZZ Top on their European tour this summer. A full U.S. tour is in the works. 
Click to Watch the Ben Miller Band EPK
May 21 - Columbus, OH @ Woodlands Park Street Patio
May 22 - St. Charles, IL @ The House Pub
May 23 - Chicago, IL @ Three Sisters Park
May 24 - Boonville, MO @ Pedaler's Jamboree
June 6 - Ozark, AR @ Wakarusa Music & Camping Fest
June 7 - Ozark, AR @ Wakarusa Music & Camping Fest
June 8 - Ozark, AR @ Wakarusa Music & Camping Fest
June 11 - Bergen, NOR @ Bergenhaus Festning *
June 13 - Oulu, FIN @ Raatin Stadion *
June 14 - Helsinki, FIN @ Kaisaniemen Puisto *
June 18 - Aalborg, DK @ Skovdalen *
June 20 - Cologne, GER @ Open Air am Tanzbrunnen Koln *
June 21 - Stuttgart, GER @ Schleyerhalle *
June 24 - Amsterdam, NL @ Heineken Music Hall *
June 25 - Bruxelles-Brussel, BE @ Forest National *
June 26 - Esch Sur Alzette, LU @ Rockhal *
June 28 - Nimes, FR @ Arenes de Nimes *
June 29 - Lyon, FR @ Theatres Romaines De Fourviere *
June 30 - Milan, IT @ City Sound Festival 
July 2 - Saarbrucken, DE @ Garage *
July 3 - Nijmegen, NL @ Merleyn 
July 4 - Utrecht, NL @ Helling 
July 5 - Amsterdam, NL @ Paradiso
July 8 - London, UK @ Borderline
July 18 - New Albany, IN @ Bicentennial Park 
July 23 - Washington, DC @ Gypsy Sally's
July 25 - Floyd, VA @ Floydfest
July 26 - Floyd, VA @ Floydfest
July 27 - Allison Park, PA @ Pittsburgh Blues Festival
July 29 - New York, NY @ Mercury Lounge
August 2 - Mchenry, IL @ Mackey's Hideout
August 7 - Fayetteville, AR @ 1850 East Township Street
August 9 - Topeka, KS @ Uncle Bo's Blues Bar
August 22 - Paola, KS  Park Square 
August 30 - Manteno, IL @ Shoe Fest
September 7 - Bowling Green, OH @ Black Swamp Arts Festival
October 1 - Joshua Tree, CA @ Joshua Tree Roots Music Fest
November 1 - Pell City, AL @ Sweet Apple Farm

* With ZZ Top
# With The London Souls

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