The Miller Singers
The Miller Singers Greatest
By Bob Marovich for The Black Gospel Blog Chicago, IL
Birmingham, Alabama’s Miller Singers take the listener on a trip down memory lane or, in this case, the gospel highway, on their best-of collection, available on Sharp Records.
Organized in 1967 in Bessemer, the Miller Singers offer what I call “blue highway” gospel, the traditional sound you hear in small churches and auditoriums across the south and southeast. As such, the group reminds me of another family-based gospel ensemble, the Archie Singers.
The Miller Singers’ voices are uniquely suited to the traditional canon. Their cover of the Consolers’ “Waiting for My Child”—known here as “Waited On My Child”—channels the back porch harmonies of Sullivan and Iola Pugh. The group picks up the tempo and sings with abandon on the Moss’s “I’ve Already Been to the Water, known here as “Already Been to the Water.” On another drive tempo selection, “Oh Church,” from their 2010 CD It’s Getting Late in the Evening, the singers shake their heads in wonder why the church folk don’t do like they used to do.
The selections would have been even more scrumptious had the omnipresent electric keyboard, and what sounded like an electric drum, been replaced by classic gospel accompaniment (guitar, bass, drums, and organ). And strangely, the first track, “Something On My Mind,” came up completely blank on my copy, although I suspect that was a mechanical defect.
Other than that, it was a treat to hear the best of the Miller Singers’ traditional performances, those that stick to your soul like spiritual biscuits and gravy.
Three of Five Stars
Pick: “Already Been to the Water.”
THE MILLER SINGERS Birmingham, AL
© 2017. Sharp Record Inc.