11 Questions to a Nashville Musician: John R. Miller

John R Miller (Photo by David McClister)Photo by David McClister

Just dropped and getting gobs of attention is the new record from Music City singer-songwriter John R. Miller. The LP is titled “Depreciated” and is on the venerable Rounder Records label. If you love the classic style of folks like Guy Clark and John Prine, this one’s for you.

Check out this smooth live version of “Borrowed Time” from the new record.

Says John: “Always liked this phrase, and I always thought it was funny that it’s generally used only when somebody appears to be near death, “living on borrowed time.” I always assumed all of our time was borrowed when it came down to it.”

Hurry and go see John this Sunday, July 18 at 3rd and Lindsley, or at least listen to it on the radio courtesy of Lightning 100’s “Nashville Sunday Night” at 9pm sharp. Currently out on the road, looking ahead, he will also be opening for Tyler Childers and Margo Price at everyone’s bucket list venue, Red Rocks, on September 30.

Thanks, John, for joining in on 11 Questions.

Where are you from originally, when did you move to Nashville and why?

I was born in Silver Spring, MD, but I spent most of my life in Berkeley County, WV. I grew up around Martinsburg and lived in Shepherdstown for most of my 20s. I was in and out of Nashville couch-surfing for a few years in between lengths of touring with bands, but finally made the move around 2017. A lot of friends had come here over the years. I wanted a fresh start and some new challenges, as well as a more musician-friendly infrastructure, and I’ve always thought the Nashville music community was super cool.

What are the first and the last records you bought, and where did you buy them? Were they CD, vinyl or digital?

I think the first album I remember getting when I was a kid was Ooooooohhh… On the TLC Tip, and that would have been in cassette form. The most recent album I purchased was Mance Lipscomb’s Texas Sharecropper and Songster on vinyl.

First and last live concerts that you’ve seen?

The first concert I ever attended was Peter, Paul, and Mary when I was maybe seven or eight, at Wolf Trap with my folks. Most recently I went to see Riley Downing, Jaime Wyatt, and Lilly Hiatt at the Basement East, which was a really great show!

Whose star should be added to the Music City Walk of Fame?

John Prine, hands down.

Where do you go in Nashville for coffee and pizza?

I’m a longtime fan of Five Points Pizza, of course, and I’ve had a couple pies over at Folk, which were really good! As far as coffee goes, I usually make mine at home, but I like Ugly Mugs on Eastland and Dose in Riverside.

What’s your favorite record to ever come out of Nashville?

This is a very, very hard question to answer, and would probably change on a daily basis. For now, I will say The Late Great Townes Van Zandt.

Where’s the best place to eat late night after a show?


The Bluebird calls and asks you to host an “In the Round.” Pick three local songwriters to join you.

I’d love to do that with some pals. I think I’d have to pick Leo Rondeau, Kristina Murray, and Pat Reedy off the top of my head, but that list is by no means exhaustive.

What are your favorite music venues to play in town?

I love the Basement and the Basement East, 5 Spot, and Exit/In. I live in Madison, so Dee’s Country Cocktail Lounge has to get a mention too.

Name a musician who you’d like to see move here.

William Matheny would be great to have around here. He’s an old music pal in West Virginia who is both a fantastic songwriter and great guitar player to boot.

Finally, what’s in your musical future?

Just the sustainability to keep making records, traveling to new places, and making music with buddies is all I’ve ever really wanted out of this whole thing. I want to keep trying to get better at making up songs. So hopefully plenty more of all of that.

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