This exquisite album features the stellar piano and accordion playing of Rod’s daughter Elvie. An established musician in her own right, this album is her first collaboration with her father. The arrangements are varied and distinctive, and the playing is both technically brilliant and full of imagination.
The waltz never goes out of fashion; it is always just around the corner; every now and then it comes back with a bang. It is sneaking, insidious, disarming, lovely. It does its work, not like a college-yell or an explosion in a munitions plant, but like the rustle of the trees, the murmur of the illimitable sea . . . There is something about a waltz that is simply irresistible.
H.L Menchen, 1920
Rodney Millers’ quest for excellence in traditional New England dance music has been the rabbit to all the greyhounds in the field for the last three and one half decades. The sound of his fiddle was the heartbeat of the early 1970s New England dance revival. Throughout his career Rodney has sustained and expanded a virtuosic, highly personal style without compromising rhythm, drive, and danceability.
Elvie Miller provides the powerful, seemingly effortless, sometimes mischievous half of the duet (and two-thirds of the trios) on this recording. Daughter of Rodney and Jane Miller, she was selected as a Watson scholar and spent a year in Northern Europe studying with accordionists. Now she tours with Airdance, Night Watch and others. Increasingly, she can be heard making great music with her father at dances and festivals around the country and around the world.
The waltz took a toe hold in the early days of the contra and historic dance revivals in New England. The waltz’ place at the end of a contra program became fixed during the 1970s; a second waltz at intermission was added later. In recent years waltzing has become a passion for a growing crowd, with regularly scheduled waltz-only evenings springing up across the nation. Back with a bang, once again.
The waltzes here are beautiful, poignant, brooding, cheerful and vivacious in turns. You may have already noticed. In addition, they are really great dance music and, as such, hard to fully appreciate sitting down. So stand up and . . . What, you don’t think it’s cool to waltz around the room by yourself? Okay, I’m a little shy about it too. But I dare you to sit still!