Buddy Miller

Buddy Miller

Born: September 6, 1952
Age: 67
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Steven Paul "Buddy" Miller (born September 6, 1952) is an American singer, songwriter, musician, recording artist and producer, currently living in Nashville, Tennessee. Miller is married to and has recorded with singer-songwriter Julie Miller.

Buddy was born in Fairborn, Ohio, near Dayton, and his family ended up settling in Princeton, New Jersey.[1] His grandfather gave him the nickname "Buddy."[2]

In 1975, he moved to Austin, Texas and played rockabilly music in Ray Campi's band. He auditioned for and played in a band with Julie Griffin (soon to be his second wife).[1][3]

In 1980, they moved to New York City, and Miller formed the Buddy Miller Band,[4] which included singer-songwriter Shawn Colvin on vocals and guitar. He also performed with Jim Lauderdale and Larry Campbell.[3] Each Sunday, Miller performed in Kinky Friedman's band at the Lone Star Cafe.[5]

Miller moved to Nashville in the 1990s, after a stint in Los Angeles. He worked on recording sessions as a guitar player and vocalist, and began producing his own records in his living room studio named Dogtown.[6][7]



In 1995, Buddy along with the Sacred Cows recorded a gospel album, Man on the Moon.[8]

His first solo recording, Your Love and Other Lies, was released in 1995.[9] It was followed by Poison Love in 1997[10] and Cruel Moon in 1999.[11]

He and his wife, Julie Miller, released Buddy & Julie Miller in 2001, which won the Album of the Year Award from the Americana Music Association.[12]

In 2002, he released Midnight and Lonesome[13] and in 2004 he released Universal United House of Prayer.[14]

2009 brought another Buddy and Julie duet album Written in Chalk[15] and in 2011 Buddy collaborated with Bill Frisell, Marc Ribot, and Greg Leisz to release The Majestic Silver Strings.[16]

In 2012, Buddy and Jim Lauderdale released the duet album Buddy & Jim[17] and in 2016, Buddy recorded sessions by Kacey Musgraves, Nikki Lane, Lee Ann Womack, Brandi Carlile, and Kris Kristofferson on the album Cayamo: Sessions at Sea.[18]

Touring and performance

Miller has toured as lead guitarist and backing vocalist for Emmylou Harris's Spyboy band,[19] Steve Earle on his El Corazon tour,[20] and Emmylou Harris and Linda Ronstadt on their Western Wall tour.[21]

In 2002, Miller toured as part of the Down from the Mountain Tour along with Alison Krauss and Union Station.[22]

In 2004, Miller toured with Emmylou Harris, Patty Griffin, Gillian Welch and David Rawlings as the Sweet Harmony Traveling Revue.[23]

In 2008, Miller toured as part of the band on Robert Plant and Alison Krauss's Raising Sand tour of the U.S. and Europe.[24]

In 2009, Buddy joined Emmylou Harris, Patty Griffin and Shawn Colvin on tour as Three Girls and Their Buddy.[25] While on that tour, following a performance in Baltimore on February 19, 2009, Miller suffered a heart attack. He underwent successful triple bypass surgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital on February 20.[26]

In 2010, Miller again joined Robert Plant and Patty Griffin with Plant's Band of Joy, touring the U.S. and Europe.[27]

In 2012, Buddy toured with Jim Lauderdale on the Buddy and Jim Tour.[28]

In 2016, Buddy was part of the Lampedusa: Concerts for Refugees tour featuring Patty Griffin, Emmylou Harris, Steve Earle, and the Milk Carton Kids.[29]

For the past decade, Buddy has often been a part of the Cayamo Cruise, which sails from Miami to St. Maarten and Tortola. Each year, prominent Americana musicians are on board, and Buddy often collaborates and records with them.[30]

Recording work for others

Record producer

Miller has produced albums for artists including Richard Thompson,[31] Shawn Colvin,[32] The Devil Makes Three,[33] Allison Moorer,[34] the Wood Brothers,[35] the Carolina Chocolate Drops,[36] the McCrarys,[37] and Ralph Stanley.[38] He has co-produced records with Robert Plant, Jim Lauderdale and Jimmie Dale Gilmore.

In 2006 Solomon Burke recorded his country album Nashville with Miller. Emmylou Harris, Patty Griffin, Gillian Welch and Dolly Parton appear as duet partners.[39]

Miller produced Patty Griffin's Downtown Church[40] that was released in 2010 and won a Grammy Award for Best Traditional Gospel Album on February 13, 2011.[41]

Miller has produced his own solo albums as well as recordings for and with his wife, singer-songwriter Julie Miller.

Session work

He co-produced and performed on Jimmie Dale Gilmore's 2000 album One Endless Night.[42] He also played on Lucinda Williams's Car Wheels on a Gravel Road album.[43]

Miller has worked as an instrumentalist or vocalist on records by Johnny Cash, Levon Helm, Lee Ann Womack, Patty Griffin, Emmylou Harris, Victoria Williams, Shawn Colvin, Bobby Bare, Chris Knight, John Fogerty, the Chieftains, Frank Black, Rodney Crowell, Dixie Chicks, Elvis Costello, Alison Krauss and Robert Plant.[citation needed] He has also worked as a recording engineer, mixer or mastering engineer on records by Willie Nelson, Emmylou Harris, Shawn Colvin, Jim Lauderdale, and Patty Griffin.[citation needed]


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Levon Helm, Patty Griffin, Emmylou Harris, Lee Ann Womack, Dixie Chicks, Hank Williams III, Dierks Bentley, Patty Loveless, Tab Benoit and Brooks & Dunn have recorded songs written by Miller.

Film and TV

Miller signed on as a producer for the ABC TV series Nashville in 2012. He was the executive music producer for the show in seasons two and three.[44] He also was music producer and musical director for Nashville: On The Record Live Specials.[45]

Along with Don Was, Miller was the musical director for The Life and Songs of Emmylou Harris tribute concert.[46]

Miller was musical director and bandleader for the Americana Music Association's Honors & Awards shows broadcast on AXS TV and PBS.[47]

Buddy has covered Tom T. Hall's song, "That's How I Got to Memphis", which Jeff Daniels sang in the final episode of HBO's The Newsroom in 2014.[48]

Starz political drama Boss used the Plant-Miller produced "Satan, Your Kingdom Must Come Down" as its theme song.[49]

Miller produced the track "Beyond the Blue" featuring Emmylou Harris and Patty Griffin for the 2000 film Where the Heart Is.[50]

In 2015 he appeared on Christina Aguilera's song, "Shotgun", which was written for her appearance on Nashville.[51]

In 2017, Miller contributed his cover of Mark Heard's song "Treasure of the Broken Land" to the tribute album Treasure of the Broken Land: the Songs of Mark Heard.[52]

Awards, accolades, and other activities

Between 2002 and 2013, Miller won twelve Americana Music Honors & Awards and was nominated for seven others.[53] Since 2005, he has led the Americana All Star Band, which performs with nominated artists during the Americana Music Honors & Awards ceremonies, held annually at the Ryman Auditorium.[54]

No Depression magazine named him Artist of the Decade in 2008.[1]

Americana Music Awards

Year Category Work Result
2002 Artist of the Year Buddy and Julie Miller Nominated
Album of the Year Buddy & Julie Miller Won
2003 Instrumentalist of the Year Buddy Miller Nominated
Album of the Year Midnight & Lonesome Nominated
2005 Artist of the Year Buddy Miller Nominated
Song of the Year Worry Too Much Won
Album of the Year Universal United House of Prayer Won
2007 Instrumentalist of the Year Buddy Miller Won
2008 Won
2009 Nominated
Album of the Year "Written In Chalk" Won
Song of the Year "Chalk" Won
Duo/Group of the Year Buddy and Julie Miller Won
Artist of the Year Buddy Miller Won
2010 Instrumentalist of the Year Won
2011 Won
Artist of the Year Won
2012 Instrumentalist of the Year Won
2013 Duo/Group of the Year Buddy Miller and Jim Lauderdale Nominated
Artist of the Year Buddy Miller Nominated
Album of the Year Buddy & Jim Nominated

Grammy Awards

Miller is a four-time Grammy nominee, winning once in 2010 for producing Downtown Church by Patty Griffin[55].

Year Category Work Result
2001 Best Contemporary Folk Album Buddy & Julie Miller Nominated
2004 Best Southern, Country or Bluegrass Gospel Album Universal United House of Prayer Nominated
2010 Best Traditional Gospel Album Downtown Church Won
2013 Best Americana Album Buddy & Jim Nominated


Miller and his longtime friend and collaborator Jim Lauderdale teamed up in 2012 to produce The Buddy & Jim Radio Show, broadcast on Sirius XM Outlaw Country.[56]

Music Gear

Fender produces a Buddy Miller signature acoustic guitar.[57]

Buddy frequently uses vintage Wandré electric guitars[58] and TEO mando-guitars.[59]

In his studio, Buddy uses a pair of Swart amplifiers: Atomic Space Tones and Atomic Space Tone Pros, and two tremolos panned in stereo at conflicting settings. Onstage, he often uses a Swart Atomic Space Tones amplifier and a Fulltone Supa-Trem2 pedal.[60]

He mostly records using Pro Tools, but in his recording studio Buddy treasures a 1970s Trident B Range 28×24 analog recording console that previously belonged to Mark Heard.[52]


Main article: Compositions by Buddy and Julie Miller


Main article: Buddy Miller discography

[ Source: Wikipedia ]