Lance Miller is a singer’s singer who came through the ranks of Music Row writing and singing demos. When Lance first came to Music City he knew exactly who he was as a performer, but the more demos he sang the further away from that he got. “Nashville Star reminded me of what it meant to be an artist,” explains Lance. Working his way through a season of Nashville Star, performing and building a national fan base as a weekly favorite among viewers, reminded Lance of what he had left behind as an artist. Though he didn’t walk away with that season’s trophy, he found a larger prize – himself. Working with The Warren Brothers (Brad and Brett) and record executive Tracy Gershon, who happened to be judges that season on the USA Network series, he got back to the artist that arrived in Nashville. “He’s such a great singer,” states Brad, who along with his brother Brett produced Lance’s debut. “But it was like, ‘take everything you know and start over.’” The Warren Brothers were glad Lance had the trained knowledge and experience when it came to singing, but what they really wanted was for him to find “his” voice again.Shortly after Nashville Star ended, “his” voice blew away local music row execs at an Exit/In show in Nashville. There was something different with his performance that night. He stood center stage with an attitude and the confidence of someone who knew who he was – and this time, people listened. Tracy Gershon explains, “If THAT guy had shown up on Nashville Star, he would have won the show.” But what he won was even bigger. “That guy” had a handful of songs (the poetic George Jones & Jesus among them), The Warren Brothers were ready to produce a record and Gershon was in a position at Warner Bros. Records to offer Lance a deal. “The Warren Brothers reminded me of why I came to town,” says Lance. “They took me to a place that I couldn’t have gone without them.”
George Jones and Jesus are heroes of mine / one is only human, but the other one Divine / when I could not find a friend / I found out I had two / George Jones and Jesus pulled me through. —George Jones & Jesus
Growing up in Southern Illinois, Lance’s childhood was not unlike other kids raised in that area of country back in the ’70s. Dad Melvin Miller taught Lance and his two siblings – Dusty and Kristin – what it meant to work for a living. Melvin was a no-nonsense, blue-collar guy who spent his week working in a local factory and unintentionally introduced Lance to the lessons of life through the lyrics of Merle Haggard. Melvin, as it turns out, was a country singer and a solid one at that.
Lance looked up to his dad who was more than just a father figure in his life, he was a musical influence – and remains one today. Hell, to be honest, Lance didn’t even realize those ole Haggard tunes weren’t his daddy’s. “We thought Dad wrote those songs, they were so much a part of our lives.” There are still folks who think the crooner sounds an awful lot like Haggard to which Lance laughs to himself and says, “I always thought I sounded like my dad.”
Melvin’s inspiration carried Lance to Nashville and through the years he spent writing, singing demos, and developing as an artist. “I was never afraid of Music Row, the music business or people in Nashville because my dad was tougher on me then any of these guys, as far as critiques. I was already pretty thick skinned when I came to town and I remain that way. It’s made me the person I am now, and maybe a little tougher.”
Now with his major-label debut just around the corner, Lance is proud of the fact that he’s following in his father’s footsteps and realizing lifelong dreams for the both of them. “My dad told me to borrow the good things I learned from him and throw the rest away,” recounts Lance. The singer has wisely taken his father’s advice to heart, and the resulting album is one boiled down to pure goodness, pure and simple.
I’ve driven till I’ve plumb run out of road / I’ve tried leaving us in a cloud of highway dust / I’ve been out west to the waters edge and back again / but I can’t get far enough, I can’t get far enough… —Can’t Get Enough
Lance Miller's Official Website