||Redbeard CD (2006) |
Redbeard music CDs Redbeard, the alter ego of Connecticut-based singer/songwriter Sam Miller, superficially fits in with the whole "weird folk" movement popularized by the likes of Devendra Banhart and Joanna Newsom. However, Redbeard's debut album is equally akin to other current folk-rockers like Iron & Wine and Garden Ruin-vintage Calexico: these spare, largely acoustic songs feature twangy, heavily reverbed guitar parts under Miller's smoky voice, but they're otherwise not particularly psychedelic. Indeed, Miller's vocals are definitely Redbeard's most immediately appealing aspect: in a folk scene where even some of the male singers seem to want to approximate Newsom's baby-talk squeal, a singer whose vocal tone is closer to Judy Collins than Joni Mitchell is a welcome change. Miller's songs are somewhat aimless, most of them wandering well over the five-minute mark without the use of middle eights, key changes, or other helpful forms of sonic variety, and the arrangements (featuring Miller and lead guitarist Jae Sherman, with co-producer Nick Lloyd adding some atmospheric keyboards) tend toward sameyness. While that does make the album drag a bit when listened to as a whole, Miller's individual songs are uniformly fine. ~ Stewart Mason
Redbeard is the collaboration of songwriter Sam Miller and guitarist Jae Sherman: two musicians with vastly different and diverse musical backgrounds who have come together to create an innovative and wholly original sound. Their gorgeously eerie psychedelic folk music is inspired by traditional folk and blues; 70s psychedelic rock; distortion; noise; thunder and rain; the wilderness; the city. Sam's lyrics are imagistic and evocative, and her compositions delicate. Jae's accompaniments reinterpret melody and build harmony in ways both playful and sinister.
Sam and Jae met just two years ago in New Haven, CT. At that time, Sam was playing solo while Jae had been searching for a new collaboration (after her involvement with songwriter Rick Frost). Since Redbeard_s inception, their music has developed considerably, wowing critics and regional audiences and resulting in a record deal with the Nashville based record label Feralette Records.
Redbeard has shared the stage with an amazing set of bands and musicians including Magnolia Electric Co.
, Jens Lekman, Josephine Foster, Les Georges Leningrad, and Mary Timony, to name a few. Sam, as a solo artist, has played shows with such notables as The Be Good Tanyas, The Butchies, The Dolly Ranchers, and Mirah. As of May 2006, Redbeard's self-titled first record will be available for purchase nationwide.
Audio Mixer: Nick Lloyd.
Recording information: Fire House 12, New Haven, CT.
Redbeard: Sam Miller (vocals, guitar, percussion); Jae Sherman (acoustic guitar, electric guitar).
Personnel: Sam Miller (vocals, guitar, percussion); Jana Bell (recorder); Nick Lloyd (grand piano, Fender Rhodes piano, chamberlin).