The Ben Miller Band is set to return with “Choke Cherry Tree” via New West Records on January 26th. The Joplin, Missouri-bred combo’s third album introduces a retooled line-up with Miller and fellow founding member Scott Leeper joined by new additions Rachel Ammons and Smilin’ Bob Lewis (imagine the constant pressure if that was your nickname). The 11-song record was produced by Chris Funk of The Decemberists, and features guest appearances from Jenny Conlee and Nate Query (also of the Decemberists), saxophonist Ralph Carney (Tom Waits, Tin Huey), Dan Hunt of Neko Case’s band, Ural Thomas and Rev Shines of Lifesavas.
Miller says of the new record: “Early in the process of making this album, I thought that we either had to really nail our live approach in the recording studio, or we needed to forget about that and just work on capturing the songs in an inventive way that presents them in their best light. We decided on the latter approach, and we never looked back. I did more demos than usual, and really hashed out the songs at home, which gave me and Chris a really good starting point to work the songs. It was the opposite of just jumping in and playing and trying to capture it on the mics. Even though there was more collaboration with other people on this album, it’s probably the least compromised album I’ve ever made.”
Ben Miller Band Choke Cherry Tree Track List:
1. Nothing Gets Me Down
2. Akira Kurosawa
3. One More Time
4. Big Boy
7. Redwing Blackbird
8. Life of Crime
10. My Own Good Time
11. Mississippi Cure
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