Buddy Miller has rightly become an Americana celebrity thanks to his guitar work and adventurous, no-nonsense approach to music production, often centred around his home studio in Nashville. Richard Thompson's intriguing new album (released next month) was recorded there, and it's also from there that Miller co-hosts a weekly radio show with singer-songwriter Jim Lauderdale. Working with a band that includes fiddle and pedal-steel, the duo have now recorded an eclectic, freewheeling set remarkable not just for its inter-twining guitars but for its vocals, too. They concentrate on duets, reviving the close-harmony country tradition of the 1950s and sounding at times like an elder version of the Everlys. The songs range from self-written country weepies and rockers to a Mardi Gras stomp, the revival of an old Jimmy McCracklin dance tune and a gutsy Joe Tex song from the 60s. Classy and fun.
Robin Denselow is a journalist and broadcaster who specialises in music and politics. He is the author of When The Music's Over, a history of political pop