June 16th, 2024

Shaela Miller ready to get back on the stage


By Al Beeber on July 3, 2021.

With COVID-19 restrictions lifted in Alberta, Lethbridge musician Shaela Miller is ready to get back on stage.
In the meantime, though, she’s releasing a new album called “Big Hair Small City” on July 9. A new single from the album called “I’m Gonna Fall” has already been released.
Her new album, according to Jessica Marsh of Jam Music, “”shows an incremental instrumental expansion from her previous full-length (album), 2018’s ‘Bad Ideas.’ Amid the subtlety of Miller’s classic sawdust boogie, ‘Big Hair, Small City,’ the latest single shows her growing, record-cutting maturity, adjust just the right elements to build a distinct Tennessee Noir. Classic Brill Building harmonies add a piece of the city to the churchy vibes of vintage organ tones painting her arrangements.”
The new disc was recorded at Leeroy Stagger’s Rebeltone Ranch studio in Lethbridge before Stagger moved back to Victoria, B.C.
Conveniently, the studio was located three doors down from Miller’s home, handy for her being a mom as well as a performer.
“It was one of the last albums recorded there,” said Miller in an interview earlier this week.
The album was recorded in February 2020 with producer Scott Franchuk at the helm. Franchuk worked on Miller’s last two albums.
“I just love working with Scott,” she said. “The Rebeltone Ranch is about three doors down from my house so it just made all the sense in the world to use that space. It’s a great space.”
A formal Lethbridge release performance has been set for Sept. 18 at the Owl Acoustic Lounge.
Miller and her band, which includes husband Ryan “Skinny” Dyck, will then head north to Edmonton and to Calgary for subsequent release dates.
“I’m not going too crazy with shows; we’ve got a lot of stuff booked for the summer so far. The album is coming out July 9 but that’s just digital and all that stuff. I’m not going to have physical copies in my hand until later in the summer,” she said.
Miller also has other shows and festivals booked before those dates, she said.
“I’m just gonna leave it at that. I’m not gonna go on any like out-of-province runs for the album release at the moment. Because the summer’s so busy, we’re just going to do those three album release shows in September and just kind of chill out for a little bit.”
While COVID has impacted the ability of artists to earn a living since early 2020, Miller has kept engaged with audiences.
Her band recently performed at a new festival in Milo, near Vulcan.
“We just played our first show on Saturday at a festival, a brand new festival in Milo. it was really cute, really fun and the festival organizers did a really great job and got it up and running in three weeks.
“”We’re a bit rusty but that’s to be expected,” said Miller.
During the pandemic, she did some livestream events and in 2020, Miller and band also did a couple of private engagements in Saskatchewan and Alberta.
“I understand why everything had to go the way it went but we’re relieved to be in this situation now where we can start working again and doing what we love.”
“There’s lots of music stuff to do behind the scenes that isn’t performing and playing but a lot of that stuff for me at at least, can be a bit soul-sucking and to not have my bucket filled up by performing, it really was starting to tax me.”
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