Buddy Miller, ‘The Majestic Silver Strings’ (New West)

In contrast to Miller’s usual earthiness, this Americana super-session is sonically lighter than air — thanks to spectral six-string ambience from Bill Frisell, Marc Ribot, and pedal-steel ace Greg Leisz, who adorn heavenly voices including Emmylou Harris and Patti Griffin. Which is ironic, given the gritty sentiments of the songs covered, centered on wrong-side-of-the-tracks classics from Roger Miller, George Jones, and Lefty Frizzell. But the best moment is an original, as Buddy and wife Julie quietly ride “God’s Wing’ed Horse” on up to the promised land, sidesaddle in perfect harmony.


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