BILL MILLER June 11 2017
Miller has produced over a dozen albums, received three Grammy Awards, numerous NAMA awards (including a Lifetime Achievement Award) and led Wisconsins La Crosse Symphony Orchestra. He is now touring in support of a recent collaboration album Look Again To The Wind: Johnny Cashs Bitter Tears Revisited where Bill has the title track.
A Mohican Indian from northern Wisconsin, Bill Miller has long been one of the most admired figures in the Native American music arena and beyond. As an award-winning recording artist, performer, songwriter, activist, and painter, hes been a voice for the voiceless, a link between two great and clashing civilizations. On Spirit Rain, he walks the path of reconciliation in a set of fourteen heartfelt songs and evocative instrumentals.
Co-produced by Bill and Michael von Muchow, and written or co-written entirely by Bill, Spirit Rain took the singer back to his roots. It was recorded at Actual Sound Studios in La Crosse, WI, not far from the Stockbridge-Munsee Reservation he called home. It was very different from being in a media center like L.A. or Nashville, says Bill. Everyone turned off their cell phones. My buddies and I would go fishing on the Mississippi River. The recording was low-tech too: 16-tracks, no digital. I could have pushed it technically, but I felt closer to the spirit doing it this way.
With his new album, Chronicles of Hope, Bill hopes to further inspire fans, both present and future. My faith in my Creator leaves me content with the gifts I have, he says, and I use them to enrich the world through His blessings. I choose to bless people rather than curse them, to be a peacemaker rather than a warmaker. As songs like The Promise make clear, Bill feels just as passionate about saving the environment of North America, the land of his forebears. I think we should feel as if were living in the Garden of Eden, and we should take care of the land, he says emphatically. Ill always use my music to urge people to preserve the land.
Bill has an equally active career as a painter. His work has been shown and sold in prestigious galleries around the country, and he maintains a studio at his Nashville home, where he lives with his wife and children. With so busy a personal and professional life, it would seem that Bill Miller could cruise ever onward in easy contentment. But artists dont work that way. Ive been given a lot of second chances in my life, he says. Ive been through alcoholism and other problems. I was lifted out of the ditch, and I still see a blue sky above. After years of living against the grain, I see things as rivers, creeks and rainstorms, as the liquid layers of my life.
Bill is really excited about a brand new ROY ORBISON project. Roy's sons want him to do a record honoring their father, interpreting some of Roy's songs and doing some of his own songs inspired by Roy.
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