SCOTT MILLER Gives Everyone A CHRISTMAS GIFT (Free MP3 of ‘Joyful, Joyful’)
(by Scott Miller)
Why a Christmas record? Because I like Christmas, that’s why. Plus, it’s a challenge. Think of all the iconic songs and performances you are going up against. I chose these songs and didn’t worry about the order because I figured people are going to hit the “shuffle” setting and let the snowflakes fall where they may.
Even though I own my own label, I still have a team and we have meetings and five-year plans, etc., just like BP. Last year when F. A. Y.’s self-appointed A&R man, Johnny Wright-wing said, “Know what? Miller should do a Christmas record!”, I probably raised a glass (our board meetings generally take place in bars, just like BP) and said, “Why, Wright-wing, that sounds like a great idea .” I wasn’t thinking far enough ahead to say, June, when he said again, “Know what? Miller should do a Christmas record AND he needs to get on it NOW!” Well, I got on it. Musicians were called, studios were booked and during the hottest week on record in East Tennessee, we made Christmas Gift.
Why the title, Christmas Gift? We don’t do this in my family, but my wife’s family has a tradition of being the first to say “Christmas Gift” as early on Christmas Day as they can. It’s like a contest. I mean, they call each other on December 25, 12:00:01 AM to yell it in the phone! I have met some other families from Appalachia that do the same thing. I don’t know if it comes from harder times when all they could afford to give each other was a Christmas “greeting” or what, but by titling the EP, Christmas Gift, I get mine in first. Take that, Lane Family of Athens, WV!
(song notes by Scott Miller)
1) THE KINGDOM HAS COME/JOURNEY OF THE MAGI (Scott Miller, T.S. Eliot) – I knew I wanted R.B. Morris, fellow Knoxville artist, to read something, maybe the verses from Luke that everybody uses, but he pulled this T.S. Eliot poem from a copy of Hard Knox Reviews. I had written the song years ago for a WNCW Christmas CD not thinking then of the Eliot poem or that they could work together. (Now in reality, I just wanted to see my name next to that modernist poet who gave me such fits in school.)
2) YES, VIRGINIA (Scott Miller) – I think this song explains why I wanted to make a Christmas record. Of course I love the baby Jesus, but this is the time of year when all of my family got together and if you grew up on a cattle farm in the MIDDLE OF NOWHERE, you would understand how special those times were.
3) CHRISTMAS IN PRISON (John Prine) – Ain’t no secret I love the John Prine! I heard they did a tribute record to him, but nobody asked me. I would have done this song, Christmas or not.
4) JOYFUL, JOYFUL (p.d. arr. By Scott Miller) – This is “Dueling Banjos” meets Ludwig van Beethoven. I have a video idea for this song that probably wouldn’t come across in print, but I hope to have it ready by the time this is released. John Taylor is the banjo player and was in a bluegrass band I formed way before the V-Roys. I think he’s awesome.
5) OLD TOY TRAINS (Roger Miller) – Todd Steed, who produced and recorded this EP at his Apeville Studio in Knoxville, had to convince me it was okay to do this song. This song is G R E A T and Roger’s version is G R E A T, but I got a chance to actually sing on this instead of yell, so I like it.
6) STAR OF BETHLEHEM (Neil Young) – I do a show around the second week of December in Johnson City, TN every year and I always play this. The best part…to secure the rights to this song I had to write a check to NEIL YOUNG! It will be framed (if it doesn’t bounce).
7) HOLY, HOLY, HOLY (p.d. arr. By Scott Miller) – A hymn so nice, they named it thrice!
1. The Kingdom Has Come/Journey Of The Magi
2. Yes, Virginia
3. Christmas In Prison
4. Joyful, Joyful (free MP3)
5. Old Toy Trains
6. Star Of Bethlehem
7. Holy, Holy, Holy
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