Episode 175: Rivers in Our Veins with Allison Miller
This episode of Across The Margin : The Podcast presents an interview with lauded drummer, composer, bandleader, and teacher Allison Miller. Miller is a musician who has mastered a vast array of musical settings — from guesting on late night TV to keeping time for some of today's most beloved singer-songwriters (such as Ani DiFranco, Natalie Merchant, and Brandi Carlile). She has recorded six albums as a bandleader — 5 AM Stroll, Boom Tic Boom, No Morphine-No Lilies, Live at Willisau, Otis Was a Polar Bear, and Glitter Wolf — as well as working as a session musician. Her work with bands has included forming the band Honey Ear Trio with Rene Hart and Erik Lawrence, Holler and Bam with Toshi Reagon, and her own band, Allison Miller's Boom Tic Boom. She is also a member of the jazz supergroup ARTEMIS. Miller’s latest album Rivers in Our Veins — the focus of this episode — is a 12-song cycle embracing the concept of flow and renewal, and dedicated to the United State's crucial rivers, watersheds, and the organizations devoted to reviving and protecting them. Her band features a deeply telepathic cast of improvisers, including violinist Jenny Scheinman, Ben Goldberg on contra-alto and Bb clarinets, pianist Carmen Staaf, trumpeter Jason Palmer, bassist Todd Sickafoose, and a grouping of remarkable tap-dancers (learn more about this in the episode!). The captivating piece of American art that is Rivers in Our Veins was commissioned by the Lake Placid Center for the Arts and acts as a tribute to the natural environments we are blessed to live within and around and to those who make it their mission to protect them; In this episode host Michael Shields and Allison Miller discuss just how, specifically, her latest album was inspired by five American rivers and our nation’s crucial waterways in general. They talk about the phenomenally talented assemblage of musicians featured on the Rivers in Our Veins and the tap dancers who enliven a bevy of songs on the album. They discuss the tour which boasts an ambitious multimedia production, the curiosities of being a bandleader as a drummer, Miller’s musical inspirations, and a whole lot more.
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