Lisa Miller (singer-songwriter)

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Lisa Miller
Birth nameLisa Anne Miller
OriginMelbourne, Victoria, Australia
Genres
Occupation(s)Musician
InstrumentsVoice
Years active1985–present
Labels
Associated acts
  • The Whole Shebang
  • the Ever Lovin' O'Sheas
  • the Trailblazers
  • Truckasaurus
Websitelisamiller.com.au

Lisa Anne Miller is an Australian country pop singer-songwriter and guitarist. She has issued seven albums, Quiet Girl with a Credit Card (1996), As Far as a Life Goes (1999), Car Tape (2002), Version Originale (2003), Morning in the Bowl of Night (2007), Car Tape 2 (2010) and Meet the Misses (2012). She has a clear, bitter-sweet voice and provides poignant semi-biographical lyrics. At the ARIA Music Awards she has been nominated nine times.

Biography[edit]

Lisa Miller is the daughter of social realist painter, Peter Miller, and grew up in the Melbourne suburb of Chadstone with her elder brother Lewis Miller (born 1959), who is also a painter, and a younger brother Paul Miller.[1] Lewis won the 1998 Archibald Prize.[2] Miller started writing songs at fourteen and has memories of being in a folk music duo with a friend, Tracey,[3] "I played flute, she played guitar and sang, and we wore matching paisley dresses that went to the floor, and played at coffee houses where people drank hot chocolates with marshmallows." Tracey later married Miller's brother Paul to become Tracey Miller, and, as from 2005, was also a country music singer-songwriter.[1]

While working as a secondary school teacher, Miller's first rock group were the Hepeleptics, in 1986. She became vocalist and rhythm guitarist for the Whole Shebang in the following year.[4][5] Miller wrote their track, "Another Sunday Morning",[6] which appeared on a various artists' compilation album, The Preston Story, Vol. 1, in 1995 via Canetoad Records.[7] She also sang in the Everlovin' O'Sheas, with Andy Baylor, Rick O'Shea and Warren Rough in 1988.[5] In 1989 she travelled to the United States to hear music in Memphis, Nashville, Austin, New Orleans and San Francisco.[8]

Miller returned to Melbourne in 1990 and re-joined Baylor in the Prestones, alongside Steve Mander, Victor O'Neill, Graeme Thomas and Gary Young.[5] She formed her own roots rock band, the Trailblazers (1990–91), on lead vocals with Mark Ferrie (ex-Models, Sacred Cowboys) on bass guitar, Nick Grant on guitar, Martin Lubran on pedal steel guitar and Tony Thornton on drums.[4][5] Miller and Ferrie renamed the group as Truckasaurus in 1993 with additional members, Ed Bates on guitar and Graham Lee on pedal steel guitar.[5] They favoured original material by Miller or Ferrie and issued a self-titled album in 1993 before Miller left to be replaced by Kaarin Fairfax on lead vocals in 1994.[4][5]

In 1994 Miller went solo and released two extended plays on the In-Law label: Do That for You (May 1995) and All Worked Out (November).[4][5] The first EP had four tracks with co-production by Miller with Steve Hoy and Gordon Blake, and recorded at the Gershwin Room, Esplanade Hotel, Melbourne.[5][9] The second EP had five tracks and was co-produced with Shane O'Mara and recorded at O'Mara's home studio, Yikesville, "[with] an ADAT recorder and a couple of cheap delay units in the spare bedroom, rather than the sophisticated backyard operation it is today. Lisa is adamant that she came up with the name 'Yikesville' during this session, but Shane doesn't believe her".[5][10] O'Mara mixed it, "one night when the ARIA awards were on (the year Silverchair and Tim Rogers did 'New Race'). Lisa and Rebecca spent the evening glued to the telly, while Shane and Ben [Lempriere] got progressively drunker over the 8-track Mackie desk."[10]

Her debut album, Quiet Girl with a Credit Card, followed in June 1996 on the W.Minc label and distributed by Shock Records.[4][5] It had been recorded in April 1995 with former band mate, Graham Lee, producing at Fortissimo Studios, South Melbourne.[4][5] Dave Dawson of Impress Magazine observed that Miller's US trip, "with country radio as a sporadic soundtrack, was the fertile fuel which prompted her to quit teaching when she arrived home, manage stores selling Americana gear and sing for her supper in Suburban bars."[8] He felt that, "The long gestation period for this album has been a blessing – songs that began life in one guise have, by osmosis, developed new cloaks... country and western... is a far cry from Ms Miller's eclectic mix of country, funk, folk and pop."[8] It was also issued in the United Kingdom on Demon Records, to date her only release outside of Australia.

Three years later her second album, As Far as a Life Goes (June 1999), appeared on the W.Minc label,[4][5] albeit via the now-defunct, Festival Mushroom Records. It was produced by Barry Palmer (Deadstar, Mark Seymour, Christopher Marshall) at Sing Sing Studios, Richmond in September 1998.[5][11] At the ARIA Music Awards of 1999 she was nominated for Best Female Artist for As Far as a Life Goes.[12]

After sorting out troubles with her record companies, Miller released an album, Car Tape, of cover versions in May 2002 for the fledgling Melbourne label, Raoul Records,[4][5] which is run by her husband, Ben Lempriere.[13] It found her in a country-soul vein and was a critical success. Australian musicologist, Ian McFarlane, felt it was, "a delightful and idiosyncratic collection of songs."[4] Her material was mostly by US singer-songwriters including, Arthur Alexander, Karen Dalton, Charlie Rich and Townes Van Zandt.[4] She also provided her rendition of Tim Rogers' "Word for Sadness", which appeared on You Am I's fifth album, Deliverance in September.[14] According to Miller it was named for, "grimy cassettes which get stuck, and you have to stick a pen into the reel to wind them up. And they're funny songs that someone puts on a tape because they're special to them, and they're often a bit odd."[15]

Car Tape was produced, recorded and mixed by O'Mara at his studio, at various times during 2000 and 2001.[4][5] It peaked at No. 8 on the ARIA Hitseekers Albums and No. 24 on the ARIA Alternative Albums chart.[16] O'Mara later recalled, "It was sort of when everything clicked and I found my feet or something. It was through that album that I met Tim Rogers who told me he loved what I did on Lisa's album."[17] She received three more ARIA Music Award nominations in 2002: for Best Female Artist, Best Independent Release and Best Adult Contemporary Album for Car Tape.[12] It was one of the best-selling Australian independent releases of 2002.

In 2003 she released her fourth album, Version Originale, a CD of original compositions, that was also warmly received by critics. With her band, featuring guitarist and producer, O'Mara, Miller has been a sporadic live performer in and around Melbourne, with forays up the east coast of Australia, including the Byron Bay Blues Festival. She has played with Billy Bragg and toured Australia with Neil Young and Nick Cave. She has also appeared on recordings by Australian musicians David McComb, Tim Rogers, Tex Perkins, Andy Baylor, Barb Waters, Doug Mansfield, Amanda Brown (of The Go-Betweens) and David Chesworth. At one time she was managed by the late Mick Geyer (close associate of Nick Cave), but is now self-managed.

In 2004 Miller released the EP, Pushover, which features five songs recorded live on the 2003 Neil Young tour. She was again nominated in the Best Female Artist category at the 2004 ARIA Awards, at which – once again – she was beaten by Kasey Chambers. Miller collaborated with composer Amanda Brown on a number of songs for the feature film, Look Both Ways, but only one track, "Eleven", made the final selection.

In 2005 she recorded a version of the Split Enz song "I Hope I Never" for She Will Have Her Way, a tribute album of female Australian and New Zealand artists performing the works of Tim and Neil Finn. This album was nominated for a 2006 ARIA award under "Best Adult Contemporary Artist".

Her fifth album, Morning in the Bowl of Night, was released in March 2007, many of the songs focussing around the death of Miller's mother. In early 2008, Morning in the Bowl of Night, was shortlisted for the Australian Music Prize.

Personnel[edit]

In 2006 Miller's band consisted of:

  • Lisa Miller – vocals, rhythm guitar
  • Shane O'Mara – lead guitar
  • Peter Jones – drums
  • Bill McDonald – bass guitar

Discography[edit]

Albums[edit]

Extended plays[edit]

Truckasaurus
  • Truckasaurus – 1993
solo
  • Do That for You (May 1995) – In-Law/MDS (Mother02)
  • All Worked Out (November 1995) – In-Law/MDS (Mother03)[10][21]
  • Pushover (2004) – Raoul Records (WIFECD006)

Singles[edit]

  • "Hang My Head" (1996) – W. Minc Productions (W.MINCD005)[22]
  • "Wipe the Floor" (1999)
  • "If You Need Me" (2007) – (RACV shops as a tie-in to TV commercial)

Other appearances[edit]

The Whole Shebang
  • The Preston Story, Vol. 1 – "Funnel of Love", "Another Sunday Morning" – recorded 1987, released 1995 Canetoad Records (CD-006)[7]
solo
  • Recovery: Hits from the Back Door – "Hang Your Head" (live) (1997)
  • RRRewind in the Chapel – "Are You the One that I've Been Waiting For" (live), "It's a Long Way to the Top" (live) – 1998[23]
  • Highlights from the ABC TV Series Studio 22 – "Trade" (live) (2002)[24]
  • You Can't Hide Your Love Forever – A Tribute to Gene Clark – "Why Not Your Baby" (live) – 2002
  • The DIG Australian Blues Project – "Red Cross Store Blues" (live) – 2005[25]
  • She Will Have Her Way – "I Hope I Never" – 2005
duet with Tex Perkins

Film soundtracks[edit]

Awards and nominations[edit]

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Best, Sophie (4 November 2005). "Tracey Miller". The Age. Fairfax Media. Retrieved 31 October 2018.
  2. ^ "Archibald Prize: Winners for 1998". Art Gallery of New South Wales. Retrieved 1 November 2018.
  3. ^ "On the road from fan to fame". The Age. Fairfax Media. 10 June 2002. Retrieved 1 November 2018.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k McFarlane, Ian (2017). "Encyclopedia entry for 'Lisa Miller'". The Encyclopedia of Australian Rock and Pop. Jenkins, Jeff (Foreword) (2nd ed.). Gisborne, VIC: Third Stone Press. p. 317. ISBN 978-0-9953856-0-3.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o Lisa Miller associated entries at Australian Rock Database:
    • Lisa Miller: Holmgren, Magnus; Beissel, Kim. "Lisa Miller". hem.passagen.se. Australian Rock Database (Magnus Holmgren). Archived from the original on 3 October 2012. Retrieved 31 October 2018.
    • Truckasaurus (1993–94): Holmgren, Magnus; Beissel, Kim. "Truckasaurus". hem.passagen.se. Australian Rock Database (Magnus Holmgren). Archived from the original on 3 October 2012. Retrieved 31 October 2018.
  6. ^ "'Another Sunday Morning' at APRA search engine". Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA). Retrieved 31 October 2018. Note: For additional work user may have to select 'Search again' and then 'Enter a title:' &/or 'Performer:'
  7. ^ a b "Various Artists – The Preston Story: Volume One". Canetoad Records. Archived from the original on 22 July 2008. Retrieved 31 October 2018.
  8. ^ a b c Dawson, Dave (1996). "Lisa Miller – Lisa's Limo Hits the Open Road". Impress Magazine. Retrieved 31 October 2018.
  9. ^ "Releases :: Do That for You". Australian Music Online. Australia Council for the Arts. Archived from the original on 22 November 2005. Retrieved 31 October 2018.
  10. ^ a b c "Releases :: All Worked Out". Australian Music Online. Australia Council for the Arts. Archived from the original on 22 November 2005. Retrieved 31 October 2018.
  11. ^ a b Miller, Lisa (1999), As Far as a Life Goes, W. Minc Productions, retrieved 1 November 2018
  12. ^ a b c d e f g Lisa Miller at the ARIA Music Awards:
  13. ^ "No-name Lisa is Sitting Pretty Enough". The Age. Fairfax Media. 12 October 2002. Retrieved 31 October 2018.
  14. ^ Horowitz, Hal. "Deliverance – You Am I | Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 3 November 2018.
  15. ^ "Releases :: Car Tape". Australian Music Online. Archived from the original on 22 November 2005. Retrieved 3 November 2018.
  16. ^ a b Kellaghan, Ronan (22 July 2002). "Week Commencing ~ 22nd July 2002 ~ Issue #647" (PDF). The ARIA Report. Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) (647): 12, 16. Archived from the original (PDF) on 7 August 2002. Retrieved 31 October 2018.
  17. ^ Varricchio, Mario (8 August 2017). "Shane O'Mara – Yikesville". The Westsider. Retrieved 3 November 2018.
  18. ^ Miller, Lisa (2002), Car Tape, Raoul Records, retrieved 3 November 2018
  19. ^ Kellaghan, Ronan (13 October 2013). "Week Commencing ~ 13th October 2003 ~ Issue #712" (PDF). The ARIA Report. Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) (712): 16. Archived from the original (PDF) on 7 November 2003. Retrieved 31 October 2018.
  20. ^ Wallace, Ian (21 May 2007). "Week Commencing ~ 21st May 2007 ~ Issue #898" (PDF). The ARIA Report. Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) (898): 16. Archived from the original (PDF) on 19 June 2007. Retrieved 31 October 2018.
  21. ^ Miller, Lisa (1995), All Worked Out, in-law, retrieved 1 November 2018
  22. ^ Miller, Lisa (1996). "'Hang My Head'". W.Minc. Retrieved 1 November 2018.
  23. ^ MUSIC: "RRRewind in the Chapel" - Various
  24. ^ "Studio 22". The Planet. Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC). Archived from the original on 15 June 2002. Retrieved 31 October 2018.
  25. ^ Double J
  26. ^ Tracks on To Hal and Bacharach - various artists (20 April 1998) | SecondHandSongs