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In the wake of his refreshingly straight-forward debut album—the Dusty Wakeman produced See Things Like You—Nashville singer/songwriter Rian Greene quickly earned the reputation of being a “songwriter’s songwriter.” While the album received world-wide airplay and heavy VH1-Country rotation for the single, “The Shotgun Side,” Rian was really just getting started. As both a solo performer and a member of the award-winning San Diego band The Hideaways, Rian put years of touring experience under his belt, as his live show mixed in solid, original songs with his encyclopedic knowledge of country standards and classics. He has worked with artists ranging from Lucinda Williams and The Flatlanders, to Asleep at the Wheel and The Beat Farmers; and, as a band leader he has played with Gordon Waller of Peter & Gordon, and early Beatles collaborator, Tony Sheridan.
The debut record revealed Rian Green’s attention to detail and carefully crafted compositions, and his new album—Drown The Miller—is no exception. For the new record, Rian brought in 19 demos to producer Brian “Brain” Harrison and drummer Bryan Owings, who helped him narrow it down to the 11 album tracks. Although it sounds easy enough, Rian still marvels about how “it was kind of a fluke that the record came together. I was living in Knoxville and spoke with a few great musicians, like bassist Phil Senseny, about wanting to make a new record.” After a couple of weeks and a trip to Nashville, things came together indeed for Drown The Miller. “I’m very proud of the songs and all the performances from everyone involved,” Rian notes. “Brian’s production worked great in complementing and bringing out the best in the songs. There’s not a whole lot of fat on it—if a song didn’t need a bridge, there wasn’t one; if it didn’t need a third verse, it didn’t get one.” Subsequently, Drown The Miller is a succinct, easy record to listen to, with depth and subtleties that reveal themselves through multiple listens. That is the mark of a good record.
With a sound rooted in traditional country music, Drown The Miller correspondingly offers Rian’s own blend of solid Americana music by adding his own fresh perspective. A mature, well-crafted work, this highly anticipated second album proves that Rian’s honest, no-frills lyrics and melodies stand up perfectly alongside the best Americana music of today. Lead single “The Best I’ve Ever Had” is on par with some of the finer moments of superstar talents like Tom Petty and The Jayhawks, while tracks like “Stranger In My Arms” and the title track reveal a poignantly honest talent. On the new record, Rian Greene wisely surrounds himself with some of the more well-respected pros in music—including those who have played with Bob Dylan, Buddy Miller, Waylon Jennings, and Emmylou Harris. “I didn’t know who the other players would be, but I knew they’d be good. Once John Jackson came in to play guitar, it was a dream come true.” If somebody would have told the 16-year old concert-goer Rian Greene that the guitarist on stage with Bob Dylan would play with him someday, he “never would have believed it! That was my first Dylan concert—and still my favorite version of his Never Ending Tour Band—and I became a bonafide Dylan fanatic. I tried not to sound too obsessive in front of J.J.,” Rian jokes, “but he took it all in stride.” Making a record with such great musicians “was an honor, and it made the whole process an absolute pleasure,” Rian says proudly. “I can’t wait to do it again.”
Produced by Brian Harrison (Shelby Lynne), and featuring Bryan Owings on drums, John Jackson on guitar, Phil Madeira on keyboards, Robby Turner on steel guitar, and Tom Littlefield singing harmony vocals, Drown The Miller is set for release on June 1, 2013.