David Michael Miller is familiar with the blues circuits, having toured with various bands (including fronting Divine House Union). Now Miller comes to us with a solo offering, the densely packed Poisons Sipped, and he’s backed by the Campbell Brothers. The line-up featured on Poisons Sipped is intended to stay consistent through Miller’s following albums (which are apparently already being considered – plans to release a live recorded from the tours supporting Poisons Sipped are already being laid). David Michael Miller’s drive to create content feels like a train running while the tracks are still being laid – and this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. At first listen, Poisons Sipped will stand out for its dense, thick layers of recorded tracks – a big stereo album for a digital age. Upon second inspection, Poisons Sipped will leave a proper impression of what it really is, a gospel album at heart.
Miller’s use of horn-and-electric-piano often sounds like a born-again Supertramp, and there’s a healthy country influence scattered throughout Poisons Sipped as well (a track titled “Moonshine” makes an appearance around the halfway mark). Memphis Belle has a wonderful gospel piano and a whiney country guitar that would give it a schizophrenic feel were it not a slow jam track. “Carolina Bound” captures a similar southern vibe. “Hand Me Downs” stands out as Poisons Sipped’s most aggressive track, featuring a grittier-voiced Miller and driving guitarwork coupled with a harmonica appearance.
The only troubling thing regarding Poisons Sipped is uniform presentation. Its brilliant moments are all brilliant for their same combination of unique gospel and country elements. It’s a little troubling to consider this on one hand and Miller’s apparent desire to push forward quickly on the other. The closing track, “Extraordinary,” while being one of the dud songs off the record stands out simply for its different construction.
The cover of David Michael Miller’s Poisons Sipped reads “twelve treatments to soothe the soul.” While the occasional of these “treatments” may not strive to be particularly soothing, (the aggression of “Hand Me Downs”), Miller’s voice coupled with his affinity for gospel songs definitely confirms that Poisons Sipped strikes at the soul. Miller’s debut solo record has proved that he has a unique take on the blues; hopefully the next few albums Miller has in mind continue this development.
The Review: 7.5/10
Can’t Miss Tracks
– Hand Me Downs
– Memphis Belle
The Big Hit
– Hand Me Downs
Review by Richard MacDougall
Buy the album: Amazon | iTunes