Denise Miller and Son Release 25-Year Compilation Double Album Through the Looking Glass

By Victoria Ford | Nov 27, 2019
Source: Facebook

Tuckerton — When folksinger-songwriter Denise Miller of Tuckerton was 18 years old, she said, “Someday I’ll make an album and call it Through the Looking Glass.” Fifty years later, her dream has come true.

Now Miller is thrilled to announce the release of her new double album, Through the Looking Glass, a culminating work compiling and celebrating 25 years of songwriting with her son Jon Miller. She describes it as an “anthology” – “an heirloom for my children and grandchildren, a collection of my songs for my fans, and my statement on social issues, including peace and hope in recovery and the human experience.”

Heavily influenced by John Denver and Joni Mitchell, Miller describes her style as folk with a little country, with an easygoing acoustic fingerstyle guitar. She started playing guitar at age 11, and her first public performance was a church dinner show at 14. Since the ’70s she has played in various coffeehouses and restaurants.

When her son Jon was learning bass guitar, part of his lesson was to write bass lines to her original songs. That collaboration grew into “Denise Miller and Son” when he was about 15 years old. Together they released Rat Bike in 1997, then Crazy Horse in 2000. “The press, local radio and cable TV were supportive of the mother-son duo,” she said.

The new double album “began with a desire to preserve old cassette-taped demos and recordings of my early music,” she explained. “We found a studio and, while planning the conversion of cassette to digital, decided to include our early recordings, adding (the songs from) Crazy Horse and three subsequent singles to be remastered, forming a compilation of my previous works. I was working on a new single to be included and added the title track and a song for my granddaughter, completing 30 songs for the double album.”

Throughout her life, Miller said, she has grown and evolved to have a broader perspective that only time allows. The album title Through the Looking Glass represents reflecting on life lived and having hope for the future.

The overall theme for the album is human experiences, i.e. lessons from the good and the bad, Miller explained. Ideally listeners will be reminded to appreciate and cherish moments and people in life, such as childbirth (“What a wonderful surprise, when I look into your eyes and see me”), new beginnings (“This time it all will work out fine”), loneliness (“Here I am, alone again”), loss (“And I’ll always remember you”) change (“Next thing you know, your life is in boxes all over the floor”), betrayal (“Yesterday’s news, in a trash heap on the floor”), personal strength (“Because I believe in me, I’ll never lose heart”), appreciation (“Sometimes I need a reminder to count my blessings today, and maybe then I’ll be kinder to others along the way”).

The album features the talents of several well-known local musicians, including Billy Walton, Ricky “Shorty” Tisch from Shorty Long and the Jersey Horns, John Hawes from a Crosby Stills & Nash tribute band, Matty Kahn, Ty Mares and Matt Vintzileos.

Through the Looking Glass is available on all digital platforms, including Amazon, Spotify and YouTube. CDs can be purchased from her directly or through her website,  —V.F.

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