Story: Prolific Guitarist, Dave Miller, Releases First Solo Album, Old Door Phantoms
A truly unique musical product of both Brooklyn and Chicago, guitarist Dave Miller (Algernon, Cuneiform Records; Ted Sirota’s Rebel Souls, Delmark Recordings; blink., Thirsty Ear Recordings; Jazz at Lincoln Center) finds his latest instrumental iteration in the psychedelic-roots songwriting on his new album, Old Door Phantoms (to be released April 1st, ears&eyes Records). Miller has been releasing music for well over a decade with various collaborative bands, however, this new album marks the first music to be released under his own name. The release will be accompanied by a national solo tour in the Spring of 2016.
Miller has cultivated a truly unique, exciting, and inviting approach to songwriting, improvisation, and the guitar. Always striving to grow as an artist, he has once again redefined his parameters and realized the music for Old Door Phantoms with some of the most creative musical minds in Chicago, yielding fascinating results. This time around, Miller has drawn influence from the elegant melodicism of The Beatles, the psychedelic folk of Neil Young, and the raw power and improvisational spirit of guitarists Link Wray, Gabor Szabo, and Charlie Christian. The music, although fresh, forward thinking, and avant garde, is grounded in the art of classic songwriting. “I approached writing this music with the goal of stripping away as much of the fat as possible. It was almost reactionary, in a way - I felt a lack of inspiration in much of the over-intellectualized music I was experiencing while living in New York at the time.
What I wanted to do was get to the heart of the matter and really work on communicating emotion without words, to create melodies that could really affect and stay with the listener. I was listening to a lot of old American folk music at the time and really appreciated its immediacy, lack of pretense, and also it’s spontaneity. I’ve always been an improviser, and wanted to include this aspect of my musicianship in this new music, but only in a way that enhanced the songs. The preservation of the melody is really important in this music. It almost acts as a chant or refrain that is always there, explicitly or implicitly.”
Tracked live at Steve Albini's legendary Chicago studio, Electrical Audio, the album has the sound and feel of being in the same room as the band. At times, this off the cuff quality to the recordings recalls the instrumental swagger of The Band or Booker T & the MGs, while juxtaposing this element with the pulsing experimentalism of Sonic Youth and ambient textures of Brian Eno. The melodies linger and the sounds are warm. The songs play out as mind-expanding textures, but always with an air of familiarity.
Dave Miller supported this release with a national tour March/April ‘16 with Jonah Parzen Johnson.
3/19 BONK! - Racine, WI
3/25 Ancien Cycles - Chicago, IL *
3/26 The Spot Tavern - Lafayette, IN *
3/27 THE COMET - Cincinatti, OH *
3/28 Blockhouse Bloomington - Bloomington IN *
3/29 Canterbury House - Ann Arbor, MI *
3/30 Ratio - Toronto, ON *
3/31 Le Plant - Montreal, QC *
4/02 The Spotty Dog - Hudson NY *
4/03 Rockwood Music Hall - New York City, NY
4/6 Manhattan Inn - Brooklyn, NY +
4/8 Machines With Magnets - Providence, RI +
4/9 Mandorla Music presents Ryan Dugre / Jonah Parzen-Johnson / Dave Miller - Boston, MA +
4/10 Spruce Caboose - Philadelphia, PA $
4/11 Whole Gallery - Baltimore, MA
4/13 611 Studio Salon Series - Ft Wayne, IN %
4/18 The California Clipper - Dave Miller's Old Door Phantoms: Album Release (full band) - Chicago, IL
* with Jonah Parzen-Johnson
+ with Jonah Parzen-Johnson and Ryan Dugre
$ duo with Nick Millevoi
% with Phil Schurger
released April 1, 2016
Dave Miller - guitar/ mellotron (Algernon, blink., Ted Sirota’s Rebel Souls, Lincoln Center)
Ben Boye - pianet/ wurlitzer/ mellotron (Bonnie Prince Billy, Angel OIsen, Cairo Gang, Ryley Walker)
Matt Ulery - Fender bass (In Tall Buildings, Loom)
Quin Kirchner - drums (Wild Belle, In Tall Buildings, NOMO)
Recorded and Mixed by Greg Norman at Electrical Audio in Chicago, IL USA
Mastered by Carl Saff, Saff Mastering in Chicago, IL USA
Album artwork and layout by Federico Maksimiuk
A truly unique musical product of both Brooklyn and Chicago, Dave Miller, who "plays with refined restraint of someone twice
his age" (Time Out), has once again redefined his parameters with the improvisational psych-folk of "Old Door Phantoms". Out 4/1/16 on ears&eyes Records with a national tour to support!...more
supported by 6 fans who also own “Old Door Phantoms”
For all its tricksiness, this is very sensous album. Almost liquid-like in its blend of genres and harmonic elements. It feels like a step in multiple directions at once, as it's not dominated by any singular sense of purpose or intent, other than to just connect with the listener. A modern-jazz soundscape, perhaps.
This is album really confirms for me that we are in the midst of a jazz revival of the like not seen in decades. Michael Mueller