Monday, May 18, 2009
The idea of a solo musician accompanying themselves with sampling and looping pedals isn't a new idea -- Andrew Bird, for one, has made it the core of his performances for years. For better or worse, at this point, live looping seems fairly normal, rather than a novelty.
Armed with only an acoustic guitar, Pittsburgh native Jeff Miller, now based in Nashville, uses the looping pedals to create rhythm tracks, backing vocals, extra guitar parts -- all live, all on the fly. You can hear how he builds up each layer in this week's mp3, "Can You Hear the Music?," the title track from Miller's new live-in-Pittsburgh album, recorded last December at The Church recording studio. (For more about the making of the album, check out my December article here.)
Fortunately, Miller's not just some gearhead, but a talented songwriter with a strong, clear voice -- also in evidence on this track. Enjoy!