Earthy, soulful tunes as US singer comes to Luxembourg
Floridian singer-songwriter Austin Miller served up earthy, wholesome, all-American tunes in Luxembourg last weekend to give people a taste of what’s in store when he returns for his next European tour in the summer of 2022.
Singing at Nordic bar, Crossfire, in the capital, Miller got the crowd going with a mix of original songs and covers. His own song, ‘When the Rain Comes’ stood out as one of the best numbers of the evening, as the whole bar went silent, swaying back and forth from start to finish.
At times his songs have the twangs of classic country, and other times a deep rhythmic quality of acoustic rock. His lyrics carry a blend of pain, soulfulness, authenticity, and yet an inherent spirit of optimism often found in American folk music.
Miller’s voice has both a smoothness and sharpness to it, giving off a mix of emotional and performative energy, and there’s a breathiness to the way he sings that gives the impression that each word comes at a cost.
As Miller played a cover of Simon and Garfunkel’s ‘Cecilia’ the whole place started singing along. But the climax of the night came when he pulled out a firm favourite, playing Johnny Cash’s ‘Folsom Prison Blues’.
Miller explained to the crowd that over the entire lockdown "I didn’t really do much — I wrote mostly ‘silly’ songs”, one of which, entitled '(Did I Take My) Vitamins Today' – a tongue-in-cheek piece – he played, which received a few hearty laughs.
A born storyteller, Miller knows how to work the audience. After each number in the first half of the set he talked to the crowd, either about the music, himself, or his experiences touring Europe.
The evening was only the second post-Covid gig to be held at Crossfire, which struck a friendly ambiance, oozing with groups of people stopping for food and drinks or to listen to the live music.
This was the American singer-songwriter’s seventh tour of Europe, and he’s already planning an eighth — and Luxembourg is almost certainly on the billing.
Miller is a full-time touring musician, hopping back and forth between the US and European tours, performing in the region of 150 to 160 shows a year. He describes life on the road as a “rollercoaster”, with several highs but also some tough moments. People in Europe seem to appreciate musicians more, Miller said, explaining that “getting this sort of atmosphere like we had tonight back in the US is very rare”.