A passel of songs have taken new life on the front porch. It’s a natural breeding ground, where the chemistry of good company, inebriants, and various forms of musical expression fosters an urge to keep coming together and creating that spark.
If Jacob Miller didn’t invent the front porch in a past incarnation, then certainly he must have grown up there. At an impossibly wise, yet innocently shiny 22 years of age, Miller exudes a comfortable confidence on his own wooden stoop – playing alone or joined by family and friends – where he serenades his neighborhood clan and perfect strangers, alike. He seems to carry this sense of home with simplicity wherever he goes, whether busking the south from Los Angeles to Louisiana, sleeping in a tent the size of a Pekingese in backyards from Alaska to Wisconsin, enlivening the environment of street festivals and Saturday markets, or performing at local theaters. All he needs is some fingerpicks, a resonator and a good drink. And that signature Everyman’s bowler.
We recently met Miller on his front porch in favorable weather among loved ones. We said good-bye on the porch next door, shaking hands and exchanging hugs. In between, there were casual meetings here and there and even a lengthy, impromptu concert. Happily entranced, we were deep in before I realized I should grab a video device and capture footage of this sweet, surreal experience to share with you, dear friends and music lovers. The good: below is a complete, live version of East Side Drag, the title track from Jacob Miller’s album of front porch fashioned songs. The bad: I hastily shot in vertical format. I know. I probably deserve to be the recipient of exotic fingernail torture for this. Curse me if you will, but please do yourself a favor and don’t discount the pure enjoyment afforded by Jacob Miller’s easy-going, authentic flow (accompanied here by Joy on harmonies).
In the Pacific Northwest, catch him live on Saturday, October 6th at the Silverton Sidewalk Shindig during the day and at Mt Tabor Theater in Portland around 8:30pm in the evening. He’ll be there with his Bridge City Crooners – Joy on pretty harmonies, Ben on washboard and hollerin’ and Kyle on harmonica.
(*Pop up the video below to full-screen and give yourself over to the kazoo…)
(*Chase it with a taste of Miller accompanied by his understated washboard player…)