Review: Scott Miller & The Commonwealth “For Crying Out Loud”

Times are tough for everyone, and musicians at all levels are feeling the financial pressure of decreased concert attendance and lower merchandise sales. So Scott Miller had an idea. He pressed 1,000 CDs full of fresh demos he produced himself on a home computer titled "Appalachian Refugee Demos," and he promised each buyer handmade cover art. The albums sold out quickly on his website, and every cent was used to produce Scott Miller & The Commonwealth's stellar new album "For Cyring Out Loud."

Considering how the album was financed, "For Crying Out Loud" begins with the appropriately titled "Cheap Ain't Cheap (For Crying Out Loud)." This track is an amalgamation of styles that is unusual for Scott Miller, but this rockin', sing-along anthem works by providing relevant social commentary for Americans trying to decrease their spending.

Scott Miller's signature Americana style returns with the terrific second track "Sin In Indiana." This toe-tapping cut is infectious from beginning to end. It's followed by the rollickin' "Iron Gate," which is a bold country rock treasure. However, the best track on the album is the country and bluegrass-infused "Let You Down." This song is a revelation that finds Scott Miller at the top of his musical game. If the band created an entire album of similar material, it would sell like cotton candy at the fair.

"For Crying Out Loud" offers several surprises. The most compelling track is "Appalachian Refugee" which shows a more reflective side of Scott Miller with thought provoking lyrics. "Appalachian Refugee" oozes pure, unadulterated Americana goodness. "I Can't Dance" is another standout, which offers superb instrumentation and a catchy melody that will be popular with fans at Scott Miller concerts.

Scott Miller has crafted a diverse Americana classic with his album "For Crying Out Loud" that can be appreciated on different levels by both grandfathers and grandchildren. In the music industry, that's a unique accomplishment. Scott Miller & The Commonwealth's new album succeeds because the band members refuse to compromise, and the result is a diverse and wonderful thirteen song collection that will make you want to run - not walk - to the next his concert. But bring some extra money, because Scott Miller might decide to add a fuel surcharge or something like that to finance the next album. And we'll all pay it, too.