In the Valley
Val Mindel and daughter Emily Miller share a deep love of early country music and, especially, songs that cry out for harmony singing. Their new album, In the Valley, is a collection of traditional duets and honky-tonk heartbreakers that do just that. Produced by Eric Merrill, the album is the product of a lifetime (Emily's, to be precise!) of playing music and singing knee-to-knee. Reviews: 'If Emily Miller and Val Mindel have not played the Grand Old Opry, they should be invited. This mother-daughter duet captures the essence of the Carters in their own fresh style. Their two fine voices twine perfectly together. The music is old-timey country by well-known composers such as Ira Louvin, Ralph Stanley, J.E. Mainer, Bob Wills, Marty Robbins, and old A.P. Carter himself, as well as some lesser-known writers. A.P. would be pleased with Miller and Mindel's reverence for his work without being precious. Also included is the traditional 'Omie Wise.' They conclude the 13 selections on this CD with 'When 1 Can Read My Titles Clear' by an even older country hymn writer, Isaac Watts. Producer Eric Merrill obviously understands Miller and Mindel and imbues this CD with just the right touch. Miller and Mindel mainly sing, only occasionally picking up fiddle, guitar or mandolin. Jesse Milnes does most of the guitar picking, with Andy Hall adding dobro on a few tracks, along with a couple of others on the occasional track. The beauty of this CD is that not only do Miller and Mindel remain faithful to their sources, but also they give this music a lively, heartfelt interpretation making it appealing to a wide variety of listeners. Their lovely voices give just the right gravity to the serious songs and that perfect bit of tongue-in-cheek to the more light-hearted ones. Whether you're already a fan of old-timey country music or looking for an introduction, Miller and Mindel fill the bill.' -- Sing Out! 2007.