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Ben Miller Band, Jan. 10, Reef


Beards and banjos go together like cornbread and grits but with Michigan-born, New York-based rocker Ben Miller they come with a mohawk. Miller's pedigree includes seminal Detroit proto-punk group Destroy All Monsters, and his Americana trio Ben Miller Band comes with a country-fried dose of that same electric energy.

On rollicking numbers like "The Outsider," from Miller's most recent release, Any Way, Shape Or Form (New West Records, 2014), roadhouse blues gets infused with psychedelic guitar riffs and anthemic Southern rock. Toe-tapping tracks like "Skidoo" showcase the band's playful instrumentation and sense of humor--layering '20s-style callbacks with horns in a quirky waltz that wouldn't sound out of place on a Tom Waits Pandora station. Slower cuts like "I Feel For You," with its woozy steel guitar, will have you looking for a beer to put your tears in.