You can just picture modern country radio programmers scrambling to avoid playing Buddy Miller. Thankfully, the gifted guitarist, singer, songwriter and producer doesn’t care, and goes right on championing traditional sounds. When he’s not playing behind respected Nashville outcasts, Miller anchors the band for an annual cruise from Miami to St. Maarten and Tortola. February’s trip is sold out already, but this delightful album revisits artists that Miller recorded during cruises in 2014 and 2015. Lucinda Williams steps up with a celestial reading of Gram Parsons’s “Hickory Wind”; Kacey Musgraves brings vibrant new life to Buck Owens’s “Love’s Gonna Live Here”; Richard Thompson transfixes on the Hank Williams lament “Wedding Bells”; and Shawn Colvin scores with the Rolling Stones’ timeless “Wild Horses.” Relative newcomers also join the party, from Nikki Lane and Jill Andrews to Doug Seegers, a onetime street singer discovered in a Nashville food pantry. Miller duets with a number of these folks, making a musical home for veterans and newcomers alike who deserve wider attention than they’re likely to get.
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