Ben Miller Band – Choke Cherry Tree

Do you enjoy having records in your collection that your friends don’t have? Do you struggle to find someone to listen to those records with you? I would be that someone for you; I love owning different stuff and I love when my friends introduce me to something new.

My guess is that you don’t own this record.

If I ran a record store I would put Choke Cherry Tree in the country music section. This record is a country record at its core, but it is not the same as most of the other country albums in the store. Choke Cherry Tree is a little different and a little odd.

Big portions of this album are swampy country jug band stomp. It has a country backbone with a rock beat and it jams; it feels like it was born on a back porch in the hollers of West Virginia. The sound is similar to Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band.

However, that is not the sound of the entire album. There is a Creole Zydeco sound mixed with a little bit of Dixieland, a few songs feature sophisticated strings, others are Willie Nelson-style country singer-songwriter music, and there is a touch of Everlast’s country blues rap cadence à la Whitey Ford Sings the Blues. This album runs the gamut of country music sounds.

Choke Cherry Tree is not what you think of when you think of a country record. That does not make this a bad record. In fact, I like how different this album is.

My favorite track: Big Boy

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