If you’re a fan of country or bluegrass music, there’s a chance you’ve seen John R. Miller perform without even realizing it. The singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist has spent most of his adult life as a touring musician, both in his own bands and as the touring bassist or guitarist in other projects. After years spent supporting the artistic efforts of others as a hired hand, Miller is ready to make a name for himself. On July 16, Miller was release Depreciated, his wonderful full-length debut on Rounder Records that’s already earning high praise from respected music resources.

Prior to the record’s release and his return to the road, Miller spoke to My First Band host Tyler Maas about making Depreciated, staying productive and positive in a year without touring, and all the projects that preceded his solo turn. Over the course of the conversation, Miller talked about his punk past in a small West Virginia town, his brief-yet-artistically significant stint in college, busking all around the East Coast during his twenties, his time in bands like The Fox Hunt and Prison Book Club, and the ups and downs of spending years on the road.

My First Band is sponsored by Mystery Room Mastering and Lakefront Brewery. The show is edited by Jared Blohm. You can listen to My First Band on iTunes, Stitcher, Spotify, and wherever else you get podcasts. You can also listen to rebroadcasts of previous My First Band episodes on WMSE every Wednesday from noon to 12:30 p.m. CST. Music used in this episode comes courtesy of Devils Teeth (“The Junction Street Eight Tigers”) and John R. Miller (“Coming Down”).

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