There’s something miraculous about duos within the Americana/folk genre, hearkening back to simpler times of two foot stompin’ dusty haired, prickly eared guitar-slingers who could but barely pause long enough between beers in order to record.
While Steve Hussey and Jake Eddy are positively more refined than their West Virginian forefathers, there’s still a distinct air of putting on the Ritz crackers before putting on the Ritz proper. The Miller Girl is an inspirited and foreboding concept album about lost love and overcoming a seemingly fictitious string of romances in order to find personal salvation.
The Miller Girl is easy listening in the best sense, ditching obtuse themes (both musically and conceptually) in order to feature Eddy’s fiddle, mandolin, dobro, or other various and sundry instrument that suits the emotional timbre of the track. Some regional code-swtiching occurs as the album progresses, which is a welcomed change from artists that seem wholly stuck in their hometown to drive home a point. Eddy and Hussey rely on lyrical prowess and relatability in narrative to hook the listeners rather than enforcing an agenda.
Moreover, the two find a great toehold in humor. “Caught you with my best friend in the bathroom/there’s a sight no man should ever see,” is but a snippet of Hussey and Eddy’s jocularity on “Long List of Goodbyes.” Though losing love and moving forward through the mire of modern romance can make for a somber endeavor, the duo nonetheless exceeds in their ability to make the situations they present palatable. In a scene where country has been so fervently praised for its ability to prey on weakened emotions, The Miller Girl is a slice of friendliness among it all.
Preorder the album here and listen to Hussey and Eddy’s Bandcamp page for more music.