Categories: Interviews

The V-roys pay homage to the King of the Road, Roger Miller

The V-roys, a self-professed beer-drenched country-pop quartet from Knoxville, Tenn., pledge their allegiance daily to their almighty deity, the late great Roger Miller.

Lead singer-guitarist Scott Miller, no relation, says The V-roys owe a big debt to Roger Miller’s penchant for witty, thought-provoking songs, which in his heyday were equally at home on country and pop radio.

“We’ve all been playing in bands for a while,” Miller said recently of bandmates Mike Harrison (guitarist-vocalist), Paxton Sellers (bassist) and drummer Jeff Bills. “Jeff and I really started getting into the ’50s and ’60s country and rock, which you’ve heard all your life, but we really started to pick them up the albums and listened to them closely.

“Just the way that they write songs, they’re very simple, straightforward with some hooks. And the productions of the albums themselves, very raw and dry. That’s exactly what we were going for on our album, and that’s what Roger Miller’s albums are like, smash stuff.”

The V-roys debuted in early September with “Just Add Ice,” co-produced by E-Squared Records owner Steve Earle and Ray Kennedy. The songs move effortlessly from bittersweet ballads, such as “Lie I Believe” and “Good Night Loser,” to blues-inflective ravers like “Sooner or Later” and “Around You,” all with just a pinch of humor between their cheeks and gums.

Before “Just Add Ice,” The V-roys were on Praxis, which later became E-Squared and Earle bought into the label. He kept the band, and they couldn’t be happier.

“We asked him to produce the album, it was that easy,” Miller said. “You can’t imagine what it’s like to work with him, and then we got to tour the U.K. with him, so he has set us up right. It’s up to us to do the rest.”

The band isn’t consumed with visions of Triple-A airplay, album sales and distribution, Miller said. They’re all about songs.

“Hopefully, the rest of it will take care of itself and we can leave with a clear conscience,” he said. “If you write a good enough song, I’m naive enough to believe that somebody will hear it and buy the record.”

BWF (before we forget): Check out The V-roys on the Web @ www.vroys.com.

Gerry Galipault

Gerry Galipault debuted Pause & Play online in October 1997. Since then, it has become the definitive place for CD-release dates — with a worldwide audience.

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