Scott Miller, whose new CD, “Big Big World,” was No. 8 on the most recent Americana radio chart, plays Kirk Avenue Music Hall on Saturday. Get show details in Thursday’s Top Tickets page in The Roanoke Times or at music.roanoke.com.
Miller has played Roanoke with more frequency over the past couple of years, in part because he lives closer. He moved back to the family farm, in Swoope (near Staunton), recently to take over from his elderly father. So the overalls in the picture are not a vanity (though they do appear very clean; I kid Miller).
We talk about Miller’s life on the cattle farm, and how that impacts his music business adventures. And we talk about his recent sobriety. The Daily Times of Maryville, Tenn., via writer Steve Wildsmith, provides the background for this conversation.
Among the bigger challenges Miller has faced is being comfortable onstage again. He first sought help in October 2010.
“You think that you’ve got to reach some sort of transcendental state to spew your art,” he said, but in reality “it’s the exact opposite of that.”
Miller said he learned that he could be a better performer with more control over his faculties.
“I’m at home with my cows, and I’m at home on a stage, with a microphone — away from people,” the not-truly-misanthropic Miller said. “These last two years have been my most enjoyable as far as playing or performing anything. It took me a year after getting sober to learn to do it again, to learn to be comfortable again, and to realize this is what I do and this is where I’m supposed to be, and enjoy it, dipshit.”
Yep, Miller is still an entertainer.