If you’ve never been introduced to the music of the late great Roger Miller, you need to check out his wealth of material. The country singer/songwriter penned many light-hearted tunes such as “Dang Me,” “Chug-A-Lug,” and “Do-Wacka-Do,” but there was much more to his creative catalogue of classics. The variety of Miller’s music is brought back to life on Reincarnation by O’Brien Party Of 7.
Grammy winner Tim O’Brien, his sister Mollie, and their children turned the studio project into a family affair. Tim’s son, Jackson, sings “Guv’ment” from the Big River musical, and his other son, Joel, recorded “As Long As There’s A Shadow.” Mollie’s daughter, Brigid, unearthed “Swiss Maid,” and her other daughter, Lucy, rose to the challenge of the Miller/George Jones collaboration, “Tall Tall Trees.” Tim steps into the spirit of Miller with his humorous take on “Hand For The Hog” and picks old-time banjo on “In The Summertime.” Mollie’s priceless vocals wrap around “Train Of Life” and the title track. Of course, no Miller collection would be complete without his signature song, “King Of The Road.” The O’Briens put a little speed on the tune, giving their original arrangement to the hit. Also in the studio were Rich Moore (vocals, acoustic guitar, resonator guitar, and electric guitar) and John Gardner (drums). With this CD, listeners get the best of both worlds from two generations of the O’Briens and from the creative genius of Roger Miller. (Howdy Skies Records, P.O. Box 120202, Nashville, TN 37212, www.timobrien.net.)BC