Since its formation in 2004, the Joplin, Missouri-based Ben Miller Band has taken the DIY approach to a whole new level, tipping its collective trucker hat to the rootsy ruckus of America’s musical past, while carving out its own quirky niche in the modern tsunami of Americana music–a style Miller has dubbed “ozark stomp.” The band’s latest album, Any Way, Shape or Form, was released in August 2014 via New West Records.
“The instruments that we use,” Miller has explained, “were originally born out of necessity, because we didn’t have any money. People would give us their old gear that didn’t work anymore, and we’d wire things together and try things out in different permutations and see where it led us. Through a lot of trial and error, we arrived at the set up that we’ve got now. Blazing your own trail through the jungle can take a lot of extra time and effort, but it gives you a chance to end up in a place that nobody’s been to before.” Recently, that place was an abandoned airstrip in Nashville.
We asked the freewheelin’ foursome to meet us at the Cornelia Fort Airpark in East Nashville, and luckily, they obliged, brought their instruments–some homemade, some not–and played us a tune called “Ghosts.” We had so much fun, they played us another called “Hurry Up and Wait,” and we recorded them both for posterity.
Miller and company, who are currently on tour, have hinted that there is a new album on the way, but until then, enjoy these gems from from the airstrip: