It’s late morning on a Monday, and Scott Miller has taken time from his chores to chat.
This ain’t like the old days when Miller lived in Knoxville, Tennessee, and we would chat every year or two about his band, The V-Roys, and, later, Scott Miller and the Commonwealth.
You see, this musician has put out a string of records, starting in the ’90s.
But, these days, he’s rounding up cattle. He’s baling hay. He’s watching the weather.
In short, Miller’s now focuses mainly on his 200-acre family farm in Augusta County, Virginia, just outside Staunton, with his wife, Thea.
Miller moved to the farm eight years ago when his father entered his 80s, “and he just couldn’t do it himself anymore.”
Yet now, even while he’s busy farming in a little place called Swoope, he does still play shows.
“I’ll run this farm ‘til I die,” Miller vowed during a recent telephone interview. “The only drawback I have found is that when I was in Knoxville, I was close enough to Nashville, and I would go down about once a month. So I don’t do that anymore. And I don’t tour as much anymore because I have the farm.”
Occasionally, he’ll get over to Charlottesville, the home of the University of Virginia, or pop into Ashland, a quaint railroad town north of Richmond.
This coming weekend, he’ll return to the Tri-Cities for a three-night stand at the Down Home in Johnson City, Tennessee, running Dec. 7-9.
Miller’s raucous style with The V-Roys influenced the alt-country scene of the past 20 years, helping to inspire what’s now known as Americana.
More recently, Miller’s live shows have leaned more heavily into acoustic music.
These days, at 49, he’s touring to support his new album, “Ladies Auxiliary,” which takes its name because his entire backing band consisted of women.
That includes guitarist Anne McCue plus Bryn Davies (bass), Rayna Gellert (fiddle/banjo), Jen Gunderman (keys), Deanie Richardson (fiddle) and Megan Carchman (drums).
Miller released “Ladies Auxillary” on his own label, FAY Recordings and describes his sound as “folky, punky and good.”
Standouts on the new album include “Someday/Sometime,” which chronicles the suicide of a young mother leaving behind eight-year old twin girls, as well as the blues of “Lo Siento,” which Miller uses to describe the mountain town of Spanishburg, West Virginia.
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Want to go?
» Scott Miller performs at the Down Home, 300 W. Main St., on Dec. 7-9, starting at 8 p.m. each night. Tickets are $22 advance. Visit downhome.com or call 423-929-9822.