Today we got together with the Ben Miller Band—a wild, roots-rocking combo from Joplin, Missouri—to premiere "One More Time," their new song and music video. The track is from their upcoming album, Cherry Choke Tree, which'll be released January 26 via New West Records.
Cherry Choke Tree sports a retooled BMB lineup, with Miller (vocals, guitar) and fellow founding member Scott Leeper (drums, washtub bass) now joined by Rachel Ammons (guitar, violin, electric cactus) and Smilin’ Bob Lewis (guitar, bass, percussion). The album was produced by the Decemberists' Chris Funk.
"'One More Time' was conceived as some kind of hillbilly jock-rock song," Miller tells us. "It was the last one on the album to be finished. I didn't have lyrics till the very last minute but Chris Funk liked the riff so much, he kept pushing for me to finish it in the studio. The backyard wrestling theme was a perfect fit for the song, not to mention it was awesome to get in on the action in the wrestling scenes."
The 11-song album features guest appearances from Jenny Conlee and Nate Query (the Decemberists), saxophonist Ralph Carney (Tom Waits, Tin Huey), Dan Hunt (Neko Case), Ural Thomas, Rev Shines (Lifesavas) and more. It offers new examples of Miller’s deceptively unpretentious songcraft, beneath whose ramshackle exterior lurks sturdy, infectious melodies and insightful lyrics. For an example an "infectious melody," be sure to check out “Akira Kurosawa,” which the band premiered back in November, below.
“Early in the process of making this album, I thought we either had to really nail our live approach in the recording studio, or we needed to forget about that and just work on capturing the songs in an inventive way that presents them in their best light," Miller says. "We decided on the latter approach, and we never looked back.
“I did more demos than usual and really hashed out the songs at home, which gave me and Chris a really good starting point to work the songs. It was the opposite of just jumping in and playing and trying to capture it on the mics. Even though there was more collaboration with other people on this album, it’s probably the least compromised album I’ve ever made.”
For more about the Ben Miller Band and Cherry Choke Tree, visit benmillerband.com.
Choke Cherry Tree Track List:
1. Nothing Gets Me Down
2. Akira Kurosawa
3. One More Time
4. Big Boy
7. Redwing Blackbird
8. Life of Crime
10. My Own Good Time
11. Mississippi Cure