John R Miller and JP Harris – Nottingham Bodega (March 12, 2023)

In a week of Gary Lineker related controversy it’s just great to get away from the news and  what better way than a lovely gig. I admit up until last week I wasn’t familiar with these two guys, John R Miller and JP Harris.

But one watch of a riotous mad video on YouTube of Florida Blues by J P Harris with a bunch of crazies going mad in a car immediately made me a fan.

I’m totally out of my rock n roll comfort zone tonight as these two stars of Americana took it in turns and  then collectively to deliver two distinctively different approaches to country music.

First on was J P Harris, both guys had company in the form of excellent fiddle player Chloe Edmonstone who adds an extra layer of depth to both guys sets. Harris is the wild card, a natural chatty raconteur and a demon on the banjo.

He was saying he usually plays with a band and plays a telecaster in front of some big fuck off speakers and they’re like the Motorhead of Country music ! ( I tell him later he should have covered Ace of spades). All the tunes tonight we’re from his 2021 album Dreadful wind and rain.

John R Miller is a lot more dark and introspective, a quiet guy with a great way with lyrics, he lets the music do the talking, particularly fine were Nobody has to know you’re mine, Borrowed time and Looking over my shoulder, he’s no slouch on the guitar either !.

At one point he did a cover of Seeds and stems again from the 1971 album Lost in the ozone by Commander Cody and his lost planet airmen, now there was a band I never thought would be referenced at a gig !.

The end of the show sees all three of them onstage and this was tremendous, they covered Doc Watson’s Sitting on top of the world and my new favourite song I’d never heard of, namely a cover of Michael Hurleys Slurf song.

Soon as I got in I was  typing into Google, who is Michael Hurley ? and are Commander Cody and his lost planet airmen still going ? (no, sadly all gone).

Beer hotline, foul.

Words by John Haylock


John Haylock

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