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Love Snuck Up

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Album Review

This 14-track collection is a retrospective from Buddy and Julie Miller's recordings — solo and together — on High Tone. There are six cuts from their self-titled duet album — including a scorching unreleased take of "You Make My Heart Beat Too Fast" — two from Buddy's Cruel Moon, and one each from Midnight and Lonesome, Poison Love, and Your Love and Other Lies. "Take Me Back" and "Out in the Rain" represent Julie's two albums on the label, Blue Pony and Broken Things. The pair sing together on all cuts. What this retrospective accomplishes aesthetically is simple: it offers a no less than astonishing portrait of most important duet in country-rock since Gram Parsons and Emmylou Harris — no exaggeration. Buddy's wily raw instrument and Julie's grainy alto are rooted in country, blues, R&B, and rock & roll. They entwine seamlessly in whatever material they choose and turn the song out to the listener, breaking open its meaning in nuances and impressions as well as with wide open emotions that often lie on the dark side of the mirror. The music here, played expertly by cohorts like Gurf Morlix, Donald Lindley, Emmylou Harris, Sam Bush, Garry Tallent, Tammy Rogers, Larry Campbell, Brady Blade, and Don Heffington just to mention a few, become a rootsy, swirling seamless unit that not only allows rough edges to show but cultivates them and crafts an immediate knife's edge for the couple to dance out upon while ripping off the layers of skin and bone in their singing to get to the poetry that flows from the heart's blood of passion, pain, doubt, redemption, and willingness. This is a wonderfully sequenced, tough, and elegant album that, despite its lack of new material, comes off as a new offering just the same.

Love Snuck Up, Buddy & Julie Miller
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