Local country musician Shaela Miller continues to tell her story on her third full-length CD, “Bad Ideas,” her long-awaited followup to “Curtains,” her 2014 collaboration with local band Treeline.
“My songs all come from personal experience. My songs are just me telling my story,” Miller said.
“I hope my story will be relatable to other people. I just write from my heart.”
“‘I Never Wanted’ is about my #metoo moment, though I wrote it years before #metoo,” she continued, adding a lot of her songs have darker, more melancholy themes.
“I like to call my genre country noir, though I don’t know who coined the term. A lot of classic country has darker themes, which is something that speaks to me,” she said.
She has a released a video for “Colour My Love,” for which she won a Storyhive $10,000 grant and on April 14 will start work on another video with the same director, Laura Combden, for “Hard Knock Upside My Mind.”
“My favourite song is ‘Friend Tonight,’ which is probably the best song I’ve ever written.The concept is just so relatable. it’s about how a friendship can go a little too far. But just because friends sleep together, it doesn’t mean you can’t still be friends,” she explained.
On this CD, Miller welcomes a familiar cast of characters in the core band of drummer Tyler Bird, pedal steel guitarist Skinny Dyck, bassist Paul Holden and lead guitarist Evan Uschenko.
She also sings a duet with Matt Patershuk on “Nothing Lives In This House.”
“I wanted to sing a duet on the CD and was wondering who to sing it with,” Miller said, adding Patershuk was a perfect fit for the song.
“He just released his second CD,” she said, noting they recorded the song when Patershuk was in town supporting his own CD.
There are also several other guest musicians.
The CD is mostly original material plus a cover of George Jones’ “You’re Still on My Mind.”
They recorded the CD at The Farm, just outside of city limits with Edmonton producer Scott Franchuk, who also recorded the last CD.
“He worked on ‘Curtains’ as well. He’s a good friend. He was Corb Lund’s monitor and sound guy so he really knows real country music. He loves music especially real country music. He was a natural fit. So he came down here to work on the album. Then we sent it away to Nashville for mastering,” she said.
She launched a successful crowd sourcing campaign to help finance the CD.
“It was right before Christmas, so it was a really short 19 days. It dragged a little, but on the last day I made it to my goal,” she said, adding it has been a lot of work organizing pledge packages, which are currently being prepared for her supporters.
She won’t be touring very extensively in support of the CD due to work and being a mom to her two children, but will be playing her first U.S. date in Muskogee, Oklahoma on April 26 and flying straight home to play a FLIPfest fundraiser, April 27 at the Owl Acoustic Lounge with Amy Nelson and Wanda Krein.
She has several music festivals planned for the summer and will tour B.C. in September.
The official Lethbridge CD release party is June 23 at the Slice.