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Willa Mamet + Paul Miller bring the sound of “Americana” to Gloucester.
Inspired by the music of rising stars like Gillian Welch and Alison Kraus, their latest album, “Let Somebody Love You,” features newly recorded versions of Depression-era classics from the American south.
In her collaborations with Miller, Mamet stakes her claim by hunkering down and proceeding to sing the sultry soul into every song. Miller provides classy pared-down guitar and vocal accompaniment that turns out, somehow, to always sound lush and right. Miller has been providing guitar and vocal harmonies for a wide collection of acoustic groups since before Willa Mamet was born. He is currently one of six featured vocalists in Vermont’s Bluegrass Gospel Project and spent years before that as an indispensable member of Breakaway and for Coco and the Lonesome Road Band. The stars really begin to shine, onstage and on disc, when these two harmonize.
Mamet + Miller’s second recording project (their first, a lovely 8-track EP entitled “East Hill Road,” was produced in 2013) includes favorites like Joni Mitchell’s River, Old Crow Medicine Show’s version of Wagon Wheel, and Richard Thompson’s Dimming of the Day (Bonnie Raitt’s version, not Linda Thompson’s!). The ability to choose classic material, and to arrange it so that people can appreciate it, either “all over again” or for the first time, is an art, and, just like “You Are My Sunshine” and “Don’t Fence Me In” and dozens of other popular American songs familiar to almost everyone a few generations ago, this music deserves to be preserved, and celebrated, and performed. Mamet + Miller have exactly what it takes to get the job done.
Mamet + Miller will perform only one concert in Gloucester, Friday, August 21st, 7:30pm at Wisdom’s Heart, 2 Duncan St., Gloucester. Seating is limited. See widomsheart.org for more information.