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On the new record Choke Cherry Tree, the Ben Miller Band has taken another step forward in both style and content. With lyrics ranging from irreverent to introspective, offering views on American history and the the societal issues of today, the band delivers a career-defining album. What sets it apart sonically from previous albums is the addition of two new members, Smilin’ Bob and Rachel Ammons. The musical palette has expanded with four-part harmonies and a new batch of instruments from cello to homemade, one-off musical creations, forging a sound that is at once familiar and strange. As always, the songs are grounded by the pulsing washtub bass of Scott Leeper, raw vocals and the rhythmic slide guitar work of Ben Miller. The band’s ongoing evolution into an exciting new phase shows what has made this band so special and points to what will make it great in the years to come.