The Ben Miller Band
These guys can play virtually any style they want, but they're at their best playing gritty, hard-driving blues built upon Americana roots, with Leeper and Dicharry chiming in on backing vocals. Miller has written plenty of original songs-often consisting of very original subject matter, such as Amsterdam prostitutes and Jäger Bomb shots-but the band also mixes plenty of interesting covers into each set. Their version of the Monkees' "(I'm Not Your) Steppin' Stone" is slowed down with added punch and features Dicharry playing trombone with a drumstick in hand, so he can pound his snare and cymbal, while assisting vocally during the chorus. On their version of "Jack o' Diamonds," Dicharry plays electrified spoons (which also plug into his suitcase of distortion pedals), while Leeper keeps beat on an old school fire bell he's converted into a drum. These guys play great music and are a ton of fun. I can't recommend them highly enough.
The Ben Miller Band is in Riverside Park during the Ypsilanti Heritage Festival on Saturday, August 18, and at Woodruff's (see Nightspots) later that same evening.
[Originally published in August, 2012.]