Rhett Miller @ The Crocodile
June 22, 2012
By Sarah Volpone
Two things you need to know about Rhett Miller. One, he’s the front man of the Old 97’s, a band that’s been making fantastic records since the 90’s, mixing country and pop influences in up tempo rockers and beautiful ballads. Two, he’s a serial lady killer. It’s a reference to a line in “Barrier Reef,” a classic Old 97’s track and one of my favorites, but it’s also a reference to his effect on his fans; he makes them swoon.
Miller produced The Dreamer, and it has a fresh country-tinged sound, including a pedal steel on many of the tracks. This is a change from his previous solo releases, which had more of a pop sound.
Another difference is eleven of the thirteen tracks feature female vocalists, which is significantly more than any of Miller’s previous solo releases. This addition provides a depth of sound and something different than what we’re used to hearing.
One of the album’s highlights is Miller’s duet with Rosanne Cash, “As Close As I Came To Being Right,” a beautiful song about the give and take aspects of a relationship. The album closes with the perfectly titled “Sweet Dreams.”
Miller last visited Seattle in September when he played an acoustic show at the Triple Door. This time, he’s performing at the Crocodile with his solo backing band, the appropriately named Serial Lady Killers. The Spring Standards open and one of that band’s members, Heather Robb, provided vocals on some of the tracks on The Dreamer. With any luck this means some of the album’s harmonies will be on display. A girl can dream, right?
Regardless, Miller always puts on a great show, and he’s known for his witty banter with the audience. Like I said, he makes us swoon.