Dale Miller | Azzurro Verdi

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Folk: Fingerstyle Classical: Arias Moods: Featuring Guitar
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Azzurro Verdi

by Dale Miller

Opera Arias for Solo Blues Guitar. Brilliantly put forth in a unique and beautiful fingerstyle manner.
Genre: Folk: Fingerstyle
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Questa o Quella
2:00 $0.99
2. Signore, Ascolta
1:28 $0.99
3. Votre Toast
3:37 $0.99
4. Libiamo ne' Lieti Calici
3:03 $0.99
5. Ah! Di che Fulgor
1:43 $0.99
6. Song to the Moon
4:22 $0.99
7. Light it Up
2:23 $0.99
8. Keep in Burnin'
0:47 $0.99
9. Stride la Vampa
2:32 $0.99
10. Moro, Mia Prima
2:24 $0.99
11. Of the Father's Love Begotten
1:16 $0.99
12. Quanto e' Bella
1:46 $0.99
13. Che Gelida Manina
3:02 $0.99
14. Quanto Rapido
2:01 $0.99
15. Voi, che Sapete
2:02 $0.99
16. La Rivedra
2:23 $0.99
17. La Donna e' Mobile
1:44 $0.99
18. Una Furtiva Lagrima
3:15 $0.99
19. Vilja's Song
2:49 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Dale Miller is a finger style guitarist living in Berkeley, California with his wife of 25 years and their dog and cat.

He grew up in Washington, D.C. and was into music from a very young age, first listening to his father sing standards while driving the car or working around the house and then getting into Rock and Roll as it was born in the mid 1950's. His first record purchase was the 45 Yes It's Me and I'm in Love Again by Fats Domino. He soon had a collection that included Jimmy Reed, Chuck Berry, the Everly Brothers, Ricky Nelson, Elvis Presley and Buddy Holly.

He began playing guitar in the folk boom of the early 1960's, first strumming simple tunes and then investigating the finger picking styles of Peter, Paul and Mary and other folk stars. From this base he became interested in the more intricate styles of roots players like Mississippi John Hurt, Son House and Skip James. Later, at the University of Texas, he met bluesmen Lightnin' Hopkins and Mance Lipscomb. A high point for the teenaged Miller was passing a whiskey bottle back a forth with the hard drinking Hopkins and washboard player Cleveland Chanier at a party.

He hung out and even played at the ID coffeehouse, danced to the 13th Floor Elevators at the 11th Door, and hung with the yet to be famous Janis Joplin, Gilbert Shelton, Powell St. John, Toad Andrews and other Austin musicians and artists and began to realize the possibility of living an alternative life style.

His biggest musical influence soon became John Fahey, who was the first person to perform solo finger picking guitar tunes in a concert setting. Miller began to experiment with increasingly intricate guitar solo arrangements. He perfected these techniques over two years (1967-68) of long evenings in the dirt floor, kerosene-lighted bamboo shack he built and lived in as a Peace Corps volunteer in Peru.

On his return to the U.S. Miller first took six weeks of guitar lessons from Dave Parker in Washington, D.C. and then studied music theory under Bill Fowler at the University of Utah for a year. He traded ideas with many guitarists and learned licks and tunes from the fingerpicking books of Stefan Grossman, Happy Traum and others. He continued to practice hours a day. His arranging, composing and guitar playing skills constantly matured and evolved.

In the early 1970s he signed a contract with Kicking Mule Records and recorded three well received solo albums for that small but highly respected and influential label. He became their best selling American based artist and toured extensively through out the decade. He was also on two anthologies for that company.

In the 1980s Miller backed off from touring, became a part owner of a guitar shop in San Francisco, got married and began to play slide guitar, intrigued with the fat, sustaining legato notes of National Resophonic instruments. He worked behind the counter at his shop, taught guitar lessons and wrote articles for music magazines. He also promoted a few concerts (including a few with John Fahey) and got into computer programming. He played in the Bay Area on a regular basis including a year of weekly gigs as slide guitarist in the Blue Shadows behind bluesman Chester D. Wilson. Late in the decade he released a cassette of blues entitled Future Blues.

In the 1990s Miller gave up concert promotion and his hours behind the counter decreased to free up time for his work as computer systems administrator for a San Francisco law firm. In 1994 he released a CD titled Both of Me featuring over dubbed duets of jazz standards with fingerpicked wooden guitar accompaniment and a slide lead played on a National. He worked with singers, most notably the talented Alison Faith Levy. He also briefly teamed up with the young harmonica virtuoso Tom Walbank as The 24th St. Sheiks. He also played the occasional solo guitar gig, usually at Berkeley's Freight and Salvage where he has been a regular for 25 years.

In 2000 Miller left Noe Valley Music to concentrate on his playing and recording career. He spent half of 1999, all of 2000 and half of 2001 planning, transcribing, learning and recording opera arias arranged for solo guitar. This effort resulted in the CD Azzurro Verdi.



to write a review

CD Baby

Familiar, as well as more obscure opera arias arranged for blues guitar, believe it or not! Brilliantly put forth in a unique and beautiful fingerstyle manner, this CD evokes the essence and feeling of blues guitar, while expressing the nature of classic opera songs. You've GOT to hear the versions of "La Donna e'Mobile" and "Questo o Quella" written arranged expressly for playing the blues.

Acoustic Guitar Magazine

A Good Companion to a Glass of Red Wine
. . . Azzurro Verdi, shows that Miller is still full of new ideas. The CD consists of operatic arias arranged for solo steel-string blues guitar, a concept that could have become little more than a novelty. But Miller makes it work with gusto. Hearing tunes such as Puccini’s "Signore Ascolta" and Dvorák’s "Song to the Moon" performed with the occasional blues lick thrown in is worth the price of admission . . . a good companion to a glass of red wine.

Guitar Nation

Perfect to Unwind and Celebrate Timeless Music
Elegantly understated & tastefully restrained . . . he can take his listeners with him when he plays, instead of running them over with fast, "let's see how many notes we can cram into this measure" playing.

Whether sliding along on his reso creating a unique juxtaposition of sounds that these composers never envisioned or finger-picking his steel-string, Dale treats the guitar as the beautifully touch-sensitive instrument that it was designed to be . . . It is an absolutely perfect CD with which to unwind and celebrate timeless music

SING OUT! Magazine

Between Pierre Bensusan and Andres Segovia.
Miller's combination of classical and new acoustic guitar inserts lots of zest into compositions by Verdi and Mozart. He occasionally breaks this mode by adding snippets of slide guitar on pieces like "Keep It Burnin'". Quiet and reflective, Azzurro Verdi will fit snuggly in the CD rack between Pierre Bensusan and Segovia.

John Borton

What FUN this disc is! Very enjoyable!
What a pleasant surprise to find Dale Miller playing some of my favorite Opera Arias fingerstyle! Fun, fresh,& sometimes sprightly performances (with a hint of Azurro (think blue)! If you like opera, chances are you'll really enjoy adding this to your collection as I did. Just listen to the sample of the rousing "Questa o quella" (one of the Duke's arias from Rigoletto) & you'll know this one's for you. Dale, we'll be hoping for more of these, please!

alessandro monti (diplodisc)

Dale Miller has crafted an amazing collection of Opera Arias treated as they were fingerstyle classics. They are at the same time so distant from the original and so familiar: he has an elegant and clean touch. Musicians as diverse and open-minded as John Fahey or Big Luciano would have loved this. The melodic beauty hidden behind all those famous Arias is easily revealed to the listener: all the arrangements show a deep understanding of the complex harmonic structure of the pieces. Dale Miller's own interludes are not fillers but real connections between distant cultural areas. Gram Parsons used to call his songs "Cosmic American Music", so we could call these "Cosmic Italian Songs" indeed... Timeless.

Dirty Linen Magazine

Worth Checking Out
Azzurro Verdi is an enhanced CD that's worth checking out.