MILLER ANDERSON


Biography

Bands/Discography:

Solo albums: One of the finest blues guitarists and singers I've heard. He's superb, and he had to be in my Olympus, although his name can be not so famous as some other colleagues. Hey, so here he is!

He was born on April 12, 1945, in Houston, Renfrewshire, Scotland, near Glasgow.


THE ROYAL CRESTS 

I don't have details, but Miller Anderson started his career in this group in Scotland around 1964. More info, please!


KARL STUART AND THE PROFILES 

They were a variation of The Royal Crests, this time being based in London, where they moved in March 1965. They released two singles in 1965.


THE PROFILES 

Later, they simply changed their name to The Profiles. Two more singles in 1965 for Mercury label.


THE VOICE  

Next band was The Voice. They only released only a single, "Train To Disaster / Truth" (1965, Mercury). Don't know the lineup of this band (only the drummer, who was Dave Dufort), but when Miller was to leave the band, he chose his replacement: none other than the great Mick Ronson, although they shared the guitar bill in the band for a month.


MILLER ANDERSON & DAVE DUFORT 

Then Miller and Dave Dufort formed a duo. But, they soon added Ian Hunter on bass and Dante Smith on keyboards, and they became The Scenery.


THE SCENERY  

Miller had met Ian Hunter when they started doing sessions for bands and artists at Regent Sound Studios. Finally, they decided to put their own band:

Miller Anderson (guitar, vocals)
Ian Hunter (bass, vocals)

Dave Dufort (drums)
Soon later, they add a 4th member:
Miller Anderson (guitar, vocals)
Ian Hunter (bass, vocals)
Dante Smith (keyboards)

Dave Dufort (drums)
Then, Dufort left the band, being replaced by John Vernon Smith.
Miller Anderson (guitar, vocals)
Ian Hunter (bass, vocals)
Dante Smith (keyboards)

John Vernon Smith (drums)
Ian Hunter and Miller Anderson recorded the song 'Queue jumping' as a demo, and it later turned up on a Japanese EP in Japan under the name The Scenery. I've also read another EP (the same one?) was released in Germany. Can anyone help here, please?


FREDDIE FINGERS LEE BAND 

They were:

Miller Anderson (guitar)
Ian Hunter (bass)
Freddie 'Fingers' Lee (piano, vocals)

John Vernon Smith (drums)
This was 1967. But Miller left them sometime later.


PAPER BLITZ TISSUE 

An old friend of Miller, drummer Dave Dufort, calls him to join his band. This was 1968.
 

Miller Anderson (guitar)

Dave Dufort (drums)
+ others unknown. Help!
They changed drummer later, with a now famous name:
 
Miller Anderson (guitar)

Bill Bruford (drums)
+ others unknown. Help!
But soon, Miller rejoined Ian Hunter and Freddie Fingers Lee again.


AT LAST THE 1958 ROCK'N'ROLL SHOW / CHARLIE WOOLFE  

In March 1968, Miller joined the band with the strange name, At Last the 1958 Rock'n'roll show. Here he met Ian Hunter again.

They were managed by Colin Johnson (Status Quo manager). They released one single, "I can't drive / Working on the railroad" (1968, CBS), produced by Jimmy Duncan.


(original scan courtesy of Sven Gusevik)

The group played "I Can't Drive" on the German TV show BEAT CLUB in Bremen, summer of 1968. In October 1968, At Last The 1958 Rock N Roll Show changed their name to CHARLIE WOOLFE and released another single (same line-up as At Last 1958...) in 1968 for NEMS in UK (also released by CBS in Holland): "Dance Dance Dance / Home". The B-side was written by Freddie Fingers Lee, Miller Anderson and Ian Hunter.

It can be read in some parts that legendary drummer Carlo Little was the drummer here, but he has told me he wasn't part of this group, although he played in several bands with Freddie 'Fingers' Lee. Please, check out his own website (link below), very interesting!!!


THE SCENERY (again)  

Miller and Ian Hunter decided to abandon Freddie Fingers band, so they resurrected The Scenery.

Miller Anderson (guitar, vocals)
Ian Hunter (bass, vocals)

John Vernon Smith (drums)
Flash forward to February 1990: Ian Hunter and Miller Anderson have remained friends ever since, and they have often jammed together. In February 1990 they did a set together at a club near Miller's house. Anyone was lucky enough to be there?


KEEF HARTLEY BAND  

But in 1968, Miller joins drummer Keef Hartley, in his own Keef Hartley Band. They had started recording their first album, but they felt something didn't work. So they changed their vocalist twice, and that's when Miller Anderson joins in November 1968.

With Miller's voice, they release the fantastic album, Halfbreed, recorded in three days, with a funny introduction where you can hear John Mayall's conversation with Keef, when he tells him he's out of Bluesbreakers band. The track is appropiately named "Sacked". :)

In the album, Halfbreed, there's a horn section to enrich their sound (mainly Hartley former bandmates in John Mayall's band):

Once Spit James leaves the band, Miller Anderson takes all the guitar role. New changes leave the lineup as follows:
Miller Anderson (guitar, vocals)
Gary Thain (bass)
Henry Lowther (trumpet, violin)
Jimmy Jewell (sax)
Keef Hartley (drums)
This lineup played in Woodstock Festival, on its second day, although unfortunately they don't appear on the movie or soundtrack. I also have the extended video edition of the movie with almost 1 additional hour of footage, but KHB isn't there. :(

To remind a bit of the atmosphere of what happened there, I copy here a brief excerpt from liner notes written by Michael J. Fairchild for the album The Woodstock diary (1994, Atlantic), about that 2nd day:

"Rainless Saturday concerts bring euphoric peaks. Participants groove to the tunes of Quill, Keef Hartley, Santana, Mountain, Canned Heat, Creedence Clearwater Revival, the Grateful Dead, Janis Joplin, Sly & The Family Stone, the Who, and the Jefferson Airplane. Gladiator gods at the frontliness of consciousness, these bands lead the masses past breakthrough peaks. Rock's Freedom Beat by moonlight unites the tribes at the apex of a decade. Woodstock's field of dreams awakens ancient rites and Sabbat dance. The music is a fruit rooted in Blues, ripening sweet in a half-million heads. It is the Saturnalia of the Century, casting possession frenzy 'til dawn..."

For the second album, the lineup changes slightly:

They release their second album, The battle of North West Six, another superb album. It was still recorded with Spit James in the band, with contributions from Mick Taylor (The Rolling Stones) guesting on guitar on one track. Plus Mike Davis (trumpet), Harry Beckett (trumpet, fluegelhorn), Lynn Dobson (tenor saxophone, flute), Chris Mercer (tenor saxophone), Barbara Thompson (baritone saxophone, flute) and Ray Warleigh (flute).

When they were recording their third album, The time is near, Lowther and Jewell leave the band:

Dino Dines comes back to the band for a while. But the new members don't stay long time in the band, and they leave the band in December 1970, after recording some superb sessions for BBC Radio 1. The lineup changes to an incredible quartet: They release Overdog, with help from former member Dino Dines (keyboards) and Colosseum drummer Jon Hiseman. Next step was the opposite. Keef records a live album in the Marquee in London, with a big band. Appropiately called Little big band. They toured with a big lineup, up to 20 members sometimes.

At some point, great horn man Lyn Dobson joins the band. He had already played in some of the former albums.

And soon later, Miller Anderson thinks of pursuing a solo career. They get a new guitarist, Junior Kerr. They were two guitarists for a few weeks, until Miller Anderson finally leaves in 1971. Keef Hartley continued with another lineups, and Miller recorded his solo album (see below).
 


(cover of The Best of Keef Hartley)


MILLER ANDERSON BAND 

After releasing his solo album, Bright city, Miller assembled a band to make some concerts. Although he didn't tour, there are at least some sessions for the BBC in 1971. He called many of his friends that played in the album.

They performed 4 songs for those sessions: 'To whom it may concern', 'Shadows 'cross my wall', 'On the ship to nowhere' and 'High tide, high water'.


HEMLOCK  

In 1973, Miller formed his own band, called Hemlock:


(scans courtesy of Alex Gitlin)

Buy they split soon. They toured supporting Savoy Brown, and that led to...


SAVOY BROWN  

Next step for Miller was to join blues band Savoy Brown in January 1974. In the band, there was three superb guitarists at the same time: Kim Simmonds (the leader of the band, he still maintains the group active), Stan Webb (from another great blues band, Chicken Shack), and Miller Anderson:

Many of the songs from the Boogie Brothers album were written by Miller. They toured extensively the States. But there were too many leaders in the band, and they only stayed together until December 1974.


BLOOD, SWEAT AND TEARS 

This was a very short episode. The band had lost their singer, David Clayton Thomas (who substituted the original member and founder, the magnificent Al Kooper). So, Miller was called to join the band, but for some reason, it didn't work, so he really didn't spend any time with them.


DOG SOLDIER  
(scan courtesy of Alex Gitlin)

In 1975, Keef Hartley and Miller join forces again, in the short-lived band Dog Soldier:

(scan courtesy of Alex Gitlin)

After releasing their self-titled album, Dog Soldier, Keef Hartley left the band, as well as Paul Bliss. Miller called his two friends Eric Dillon and Jim Leverton again.

They made another tour, with Back Street Crawler, but they soon split.


band with MICK TAYLOR 

After the Dog Soldier separation, Miller and Mick Taylor met again (they had met in some sessions in the Keef Hartley Band). Mick had assembled a powerful band with ex-members from Stone the Crows, and they were looking for a lead singer. Miller came here.

Miller Anderson (vocals, guitar)
Mick Taylor (guitar, vocals)
Steven Thompson (bass)
Ronnie Leahy (keyboards)
Colin Allen (drums)
They recorded an album, but Mick Taylor finally chose being himself the lead singer in the album, so Miller left them. It was never released.


T.REX  

And then, Miller makes an unexpected move. He joins glam band T.Rex, in August 1976.

They only released an album, Dandy in the underworld. With lots of guests: Gloria Jones (backing vocals, Marc Bolan's girlfriend), Scott Edwards (bass), Steve Currie (bass), Paul Humphrey (drums), Paul Fenton (drums), Davey Lutton (drums), and from Gonzalez: Chris Mercer (sax), Steve Gregory (flute), Bud Beadle (flute, sax), Colin Jacas (backing vocals).

Miller left the band to join Donovan for a tour. When he was thinking of coming back to T.Rex, Marc Bolan's sad death happened in a car accident, on September, 16, 1977.


DONOVAN 

As I've told, Miller left T.Rex in 1977 to join Donovan for a tour.

Donovan (vocals, guitar)
Miller Anderson (guitar, vocals)
Ronnie Leahy (keyboards)
Colin Allen (drums)
+ some other unknown to me. Help!
Miller didn't play in any Donovan album, although he appears in a photo in the album Donovan (1977, Rak). But all the guitars in that album were played by the late Isaac Guillory. The bass player in the album was Nick South, but I don't know if he also was in the tour.

At some point, the backing band was reduced to a duo, plus Donovan.

Donovan (vocals, guitar)
Miller Anderson (guitar, vocals)
Ronnie Leahy (keyboards)
Finally, in 1978, Miller and Ronnie leave Donovan to form their own band, The Dukes.


THE DUKES  
(from left to right: Jimmy McCulloch, Miller Anderson, Charles Tumahai, Ronnie Leahy)

It was around 1979, when Miller and Ronnie Leahy start a new band, called The Dukes:

Miller Anderson (guitar, vocals)
Ronnie Leahy (keyboards)
? (bass)
Colin Allen (drums)
But they soon changed the rhythm section, also adding the great Jimmy McCulloch: There are two guest drummers in the album: Stuart Elliott and Barry DeSouza, but they get Nick Trevisick for live concerts. They toured supporting Wishbone Ash. They had a minor success with the single 'Hearts in trouble', and soon after that, Jimmy died, and I think the group broke. I've read rumours about the band continuing with Mick Grabham, but I can't confirm that. Can anybody help me?


STAN WEBB'S SPEEDWAY 

Some years after they had shared the stage in Savoy Brown, Stan Webb called Miller again, to join his band. This was 1982.

Stan Webb (guitar, vocals)
Miller Anderson (guitar, vocals)
Andy Pyle (bass)
Russ Adler (drums)
Miller stayed a brief period in the band, but I don't have more info.


CHICKEN SHACK 

Sometime later, Stan Webb calls his band Chicken Shack again! Miller is present again from September to December 1984, although playing bass this time.

Stan Webb (guitar, vocals)
Roger Saunders (guitar)
Miller Anderson (bass, vocals)
John Gunzell (drums)

MOUNTAIN 

The thing started as a collaboration between Ian Hunter and Corky Laing, who was the drummer in Mountain. They wrote several songs together, and Ian called Miller to sing and play guitar there.  But next step was calling Leslie West, so the project was called Mountain again. Miller then had to switch to bass tasks.

Leslie West (guitar, vocals)
Miller Anderson (bass, vocals)

Corky Laing (drums)
They started recording an album, Go for your life, but Miller realized his part was to be too small, so he left them. Some of his contributions are in the album, although most of it went uncredited. Mark Clarke (from Uriah Heep, now again in Colosseum) was called to record the bass tracks, and Pete Solley was the producer. It still keeps Ian Hunter appearance too, on keyboards.


SPENCER DAVIS GROUP  

A reunion of veteran musicians, under the name of the historical group. They usually reunite every year under the command of Spencer Davis and Pete York, both original members of the band.

They released a live album, Extremely live at Birmingham Town Hall. Miller is great in 'Feets too big', and the funny 'Ainít nothiní shakiní but the bacon'. Great guitar solo in 'The thrill is gone' and perfect work on 'Stormy Monday'.

Digitized image is from the "Spencer Davis Archive Collection". Used by permission. All rights reserved.


PETE YORK AND SUPERBLUES  

Later, Miller was part of a band called Pete York & Superblues, based in Germany. The band reunites some veterans from the British blues-rock scene, many of them were part of Spencer Davis Group in the 80s reincarnation.

They played some live footage for German TV with this lineup.

There's a live album recorded with this (great) lineup:

Superblues is a very good album, with renditions of the Billie Holliday classic 'Lover man', the Chris Farlowe early hit 'Out of time', as well as some rock'n'roll classics, 'High heel sneakers' and 'Johnny B. Goode'. Miller really shines on the tracks 'Dimples', 'Born again / Get back' and 'Resurrection shuffle'.


MILLER ANDERSON (going solo) 

 
(original scan courtesy of Alex Gitlin)

He played at the Blackheath Concert Halls in South London on 13/9/93 with great acoustic guitarists Bert Jansch (from Pentangle), Davy Graham and John Renbourn (also from Pentangle). He went on to do several gigs supporting Bert.

He also toured, playing solo, during January and February 1994, supporting the late Alan Hull. Then, he was to record an album with people from the blues band Buick 6, but that finally never happened.


MILLER ANDERSON, COLIN HODGKINSON AND TONY HICKS  

Miller Anderson and Colin Hodgkinson appear as a trio with former Back Door drummer, Tony Hicks, in the Open Air Festival in June 1994:

I'm not sure about the name of the band, and if they were accompanied by more musicians. Did anyone see them?


X.T.REX 

As we can guess by the name, this was a sort of tribute to T.Rex. Miller and old mate Dino Dines team with singer Darryl Read around 1994:

They played a British tour. 
JON LORD & THE GEMINI BAND 
 

During a break in Deep Purple tours and recordings, Jon Lord reunited with some of his friends, in order to play two gigs.

This happened in July 1995.


(European) SPENCER DAVIS GROUP  

Miller is usually part of the revised lineups of Spencer Davis Group. This was the lineup around 1995:

(from left to right: Colin Hodgkinson, Miller Anderson, Pete York and Spencer Davis)

In 1997 there is another reunion:

They released a live album, recorded live April 1997 in Regensburg, Alte Mälzerei. It's called Payin' them blues dues - The Spencer Davis Group alive '97.

For a short period, Spencer Davis leaves them (he probably went to tour the States with his American version of the band):

They were touring Europe in summer/fall 1997. But soon, around November 1997 Spencer Davis joins the band again:
JON LORD BAND  

After having played in Jon Lord's Pictured within album (watch the sessions page), Jon assembles a live band for touring Europe to promote it.


THE SCENERY (again) 

Miller and Ian Hunter performed as a duo, and also as part of a Scenary reunion in Northampton UK at the Picturedrome in June 1999. Oh, who was lucky enough to be there? Ian and Miller did a few of Ian's songs, and then the Scenary did a set. Ian and Miller also got up with them for the encore.
 

Miller Anderson (guitar, vocals)
Ian Hunter (guitar, vocals)

+ unknown to me

DEEP PURPLE (touring troupe) 

Deep Purple decided recording their concerto with orchestra after 30 years. It was followed by a long tour, where the band tried to enjoy a wide celebration with friends. Apart from the concerto itself, every member of the band played some of his solo material, backed with assorted friends and colleagues. Miller Anderson went with them in order to sing some of the Jon Lord material, thus appearing in the 2CD live. I'll write the complete credits of the album when I get my copy back from a friend who asked me to lend it to him. :)


THE SCENERY (again) 

Miller and Ian Hunter performed as a duo, and also as part of a Scenary reunion in Northampton UK at the Picturedrome in June 1999. Oh, who was lucky enough to be there? Ian and Miller did a few of Ian's songs, and then the Scenary did a set. Ian and Miller also got up with them for the encore.
 

Miller Anderson (guitar, vocals)
Ian Hunter (guitar, vocals)

+ unknown to me

ROGER CHAPMAN & THE SHORTLIST 

Miller Anderson is asked to join the band in April 2000, when their usual guitarist, Steve Simpson, is busy and not available for touring. This was the new lineup, where Miller and Gary Twigg meet again:
 

Roger Chapman (vocals)
Miller Anderson (guitar, vocals)
Anthony Glynne (guitar)
Gary Twigg (bass)
Ian Gibbons (keyboards)
Mick Clewes (drums)
Helen Hardy (backing vocals)
Sadly, nothing has been recorded with this lineup (up to now).


(European) SPENCER DAVIS GROUP  

Miller is back to the band again, currently touring all over Europe:


 SOLO ALBUMS

Discography:

Miller Anderson recorded his first solo album, Bright city, in 1971, soon after he left Keef Hartley Band. That's why we can find here many of his bandmates here: the late Gary Thain, who later joined Uriah Heep, Mick Weaver and Dino Dines. It's a fantastic and very fine album. Some of my favourite tracks are 'High tide, high water' and 'Alice mercy' to name a few, although all the tracks are really superb.

Personnel:

Hey, great news!!!! Miller finally has released a new solo album, 17 years after the 1st one. Celtic moon has been recorded with this lineup, comprising mostly his companions in European Spencer Davis Group.
(scan courtesy of Alex Gitlin)

Produced by guitarist Frank Diez (Colin Hodgkinson's partner in The Electric Blues Duo). It's a fantastic album, mostly acoustic. It starts with a superb song, 'Fog on the highway'. My other favourite song here is 'Two ships' (with a superb work by Colin Hodgkinson). There's a song, the very beautiful 'Fool's gold', that was also recorded in his Hemlock album, in 1973. And there's a cover of a traditional song, 'Tamp 'em up solid' that was also covered by Ry Cooder.

Miller has also recorded a soundtrack, but I've never managed to know for which movie was made. Any help?


Sessions

Press here to read about Miller Anderson sessions


Links related

From the always interesting Alex's Picks (by Alex Gitlin), we have: From the superb site Knights in Blue Denim: The British Blues Scene '68 - '70 (by Christer Fridhammar & Vanja), we have:
Musicians mentioned in this page that I have projected to cover in my site someday: And short tributes to:

Family tree

Coming soon (I hope so!).


Thanks section

Very special thanks to: Ian Southworth for invaluable help. Check out his web site (http://www.psychedelia.demon.co.uk), where you'll be able to find real gems both in vinyl and CD format.

Special thanks to: my friend Alex Gitlin, who's a great fan of Miller: for many reasons (his continuous help about tracing Miller's career, music and scans), Sven Gusevik, for lots of info about Miller early career, as well as for his scan; Justin Purington, for lots of info (check his site on Mott the Hoople, link above!!); Alan King, for lots of info and more things!; Carlo Little & Giselle Rawlins, for telling me about an error in these pages; Tim Pratt, for great info on Savoy Brown and Chicken Shack; Thomas Meyer, for some of the album scans.

Thanks to: Graham Hulme for his comments about The Dukes; Walid Itayim for info about Superblues and 'Knights of the blues table' album; Gregory Springer for his help and permission for the Spencer Davis related image; Henri P. Matthes for a translation he made for me; Diego Zanti for some details on KHB albums; Kate Ilyina; for her kind messages, and info about T. Rex; Gary Paranzino, for info about Miller collaboration with Mick Taylor.



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Page created by Miguel Terol on: 07/November/1997. Last modified on: 23/August/2001.