Black Music Matters Festival

Dean Miller

Platinum – 2005 (Koch Nashville)

Reviewed by Rick Teverbaugh

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CDs by Dean Miller

It would be easy to dismiss Dean Miller as another offspring of a famous parent trying to wring some fame and money from the legacy provided. In this case that would be a mistake. Dean is the son of legendary singer/songwriter Roger Miller, who gave us such wonderfully memorable tunes as "Dang Me" and "King of the Road."

This new release from Dean isn't his debut. That occurred nine years ago with a self-titled release on Capitol and produced just one minor hit. For him to wait this long for a second release is in character because he waited until he was in his mid-20s to follow his father's footsteps and even make an attempt at music. While there might be very little in the new disc to cause a national stampede of popularity, there is evidence of a serious performer who wants to cut his own path. Sure he does cover his father's "I've Been a Long Time Leaving," but he sends it out with his own stamp and likely with love rather than ideals of emulation. A better example of his style is found on Fred Eaglesmith's "105."

There are a couple of missteps, such as the now-all-too-tired theme of "Music Executive." But Dean Miller has produced a clean, enjoyable and steadfast second album that stands apart from the large family shadow.