Little Amber Bottles

Original Signal

Imagine Johnny and June Carter Cash’s duets, the softer Georgia-soaked side of R.E.M., and the eerie baritone of Leonard Cohen. Now drag it all through the rust and grit of Detroit, sprinkle it with deeply southern country gothicism and you’ve got Blanche.

Let’s get all of the tidbits out of the way:

Blanche’s core members are the happily married Dan John and Tracee Miller. The pair played Luther Perkins and his wife in the Johnny Cash biopic Walk the Line.

Blanche also sat in as Loretta Lynn’s backing band on the Grammy Award winning Van Lear Rose. That album was produced by buddy Jack White, with whom Dan Miller used to play in a band called Goober & the Peas.

This current incarnation of Blanche features “Little” Jack Lawrence of The Raconteurs and The Greenhornes, who handles lead vocals on “O Death, Where Is Thy Sting?”

Phew… lots of background info that adds extra layers to a band that would stand just as strongly without all of those details (but if you’re like me, you love to hear about the degrees of separation within the incestuous world we call music).

Little Amber Bottles plays like an acoustic jam on the front porch of a rundown wooden home on the bayou. Dan and Tracee’s shared vocals wrap around one another, and are a little bit country and a little bit rock ‘n’ roll in a wonderfully non-Osmond way. Their duets remind me not only of Johnny and June, but of Michael Stipe and Natalie Merchant. It’s rough-and-tumble rockabilly mixed with Motown-era sweetness; gorgeously melancholic in a heartbreaking way that’s also a little eerie.

Songs to start you off: “No Matter Where You Go,” “A Year From Now”and “What This Town Needs”


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Recently on Ink 19...

  • Belly

    Belly brought lot of grit and a touch of grace to the Bowery Ballroom in NYC.

  • Pickathon 2016
    Pickathon 2016

    Pendarvis Farms transforms for three extraordinary days into the fun and psychedelic fest of your wildest indie music loving dreams, Pickathon. Alexa Harris was there to experience the joys of farm life for the weekend.

  • Money Chicha
    Money Chicha

    Echo En Mexico (Vampisoul). Review by James Mann.

  • Micronotz reissues
    Micronotz reissues

    Mortal Micronotz, Smash, Live, The Beast that Devoured Itself, 40 Fingers (Bar/None). Review by Scott Adams.

  • Big Eyes
    Big Eyes

    Stake My Claim (Don Giovanni Records). Review by Jen Cray.

  • Pawns

    A triple bill of underground Goth, led by NYC’s Pawns, transforms Uncle Lou’s into a time machine. Jen Cray did not wear eye makeup, but she did wear a black shirt to the show.

  • Various Artists
    Various Artists

    Money Maker (Studio One). Review by Bob Pomeroy.

  • Bossacucanova

    The Best of Bossacucanova (Six Degrees Records). Review by James Mann.

  • Ranch Ghost
    Ranch Ghost

    Lookin’ (Rough Beast Records). Review by Jen Cray.

  • The Scientists
    The Scientists

    A Place Called Bad (The Numero Group). Review by James Mann.

From the Archives