David Michael Miller mixes blues and gospel on 'Same Soil'
Lorraine Simon

David Michael Miller is a singer-songwriter from western New York - although you'd probably never guess that from his sound. A more likely guess would be somwhere in the south - or perhaps Chicago - when you hear the way he plays the blues on his new album Same Soil.

The album begins with "All the Blues to You", and it shows immediately that Miller knows how to work a slow groove. This one is kind of a country-blues tune that features some slide guitar and some subdued piano that is in contrast to the boogie-woogie piano you hear in a lot of blues songs. That being said, the piano part in this song fits right in with the steady groove you feel.

Speaking of contrasts, "Got them Blues" is a pretty good contrast with the opening tune. This one feels like a gospel song - complete with clapping in the background. Think about the church scene in The Blues Brothers, add some cool slide guitar, and you have a pretty good idea of what this song is like. In addition to a melody that will get you clapping and swaying like a member of a choir, you'll hear some good solos on guitar, organ, and drums. Don't be surprised if you shout "Hallelujah!" at some point in this song that is sure to give your mood a boost.

Miller is pretty solid at producing grooves that sound like old-time blues tunes. "Doing Me In, Doing Me Wrong" is a good example. This has the familiar blues sound you hear from artists like Muddy Waters. This song features a harmonica solo that gives the song a real lowdown feel. Of course, the theme is pretty lowdown too, which is only fitting for a song about being done wrong by someone.

"Shoes to Shine" is another good tune. It's more upbeat than some of the songs on the album, but this one also features a steady groove that is sure to get your head moving. That is, until about four minutes into the song when all the players pick up the tempo and mix in a bit of gospel. The sax and the guitar are especially irresistible in the final uptempo part of the song.

Miller shows his talent as a blues songwriter as well as his connection to gospel music on this album. If you're a fan of groovy blues, this album will fit right into your collection. Same Soil was released on July 1, and is available now on iTunes, CDBaby, and Miller's website.