Scott Miller's wired and tired ramblings from the Amtrak Crescent tour

Thursday, February 12, 2004

as it goes... 

Joie Todd and Jeremy prepare themselves and the Little Silver Streak for the
assault on NYC.

Elisa with Jefferson's greatest creation. And I'm INCLUDING UVa...

Here's a disturbing link concerning the Bush's
proposed funding for Amtrak
and why it would kill the railroad ...

Wednesday, February 11, 2004

some rambling & random history notes and pix 

Before anyone can dig around Monticello, archeologists have to be called in to make sure there's nothing important. Here they are having to put in another wall to keep the old stone one from collapsing.

This is the very first monument to George Washington. Erected by the state of Maryland. The area of town is called Mt. Vernon after his estate in Va. He was a Virginian, I should remind you...

Tuesday, February 10, 2004

5 Show in a Row Roll  

I hope you all haven't forgotten that we're still out here!

That was a 5 show in a row roll filled with parents, former football coaches,
cousins, early train departures, head colds, broken guitar necks, beer, smoke,
regional trains, subways, ice storms, politics, radio, old friends, new friends
and fun.


I was able to jot a few notes, and I'm gonna try and write this all out when
I get home in an organized fashion, but here's a summation thus far:

Charlottesville - 2/4: My high school principal rented a
limo and hauled my father, and some of his cronies over Afton Mountain for the
show. Needless to say I was a wee bit nervous and didn't have the best show
( in my opinion) of the run. I was able to take the band up to Monticello
and see some people I used to work with and they gave the band and crew a tour
of the house
, which they dug. I also worked through some of my piedmont
anger and more on that later.

Thanks to all for coming out.

EEEEAAAAARRRRRRLLLLYYYYY train in the morning. Ouch.

DC - 2/5: Thanks to some very helpful East Tennesseans (
I don't know if its okay to list their names or not, so I'll check with them
first) we were a able to scrounge up a PA for the short set in Union
. I thought it worked out great. We paused in the middle of songs
for train announcements ( of which there were many ) so nobody would miss their
train just because we were up there playing. I was so glad we did it and I was
able to put names with faces of the good folks at Amtrak who have been busting
their asses to help pull this off. Oh, we also got to tour the Pullman car that
FDR used when he was governor of New York. VERRRY cool. I'll try and get some
pictures up soon.

The show at Iota was inspired if for no other reason that I had no immediate
family there.....And people turned out even with inclement weather. SO, I'm
working through my Northern Virginia anger as well. Nice job to a great crowd.

Philadelphia - 2/6: Not so much. I think the weather kept
some folks away and the fact that the club is waaaaay out in Germantown didn't
help. Somebody helped themselves to some t-shirts ( what goes around....) BUT
I learned that Philadelphia is a town of neighborhoods, so we just gotta find
the right neighborhood. Look, my dad is from Allentown, so eastern PA will hear
from me again. So there. I am not angry at you Philly.

Hoboken - 2/7: What a surprise. I played Maxwell's with the
V-roys years ago, but was worried it was an early show, blah blah... Good crowd.
Bad Sound. That's rock n' roll....Keep it real, New Jersey.

Baltimore - 2/8: Everything that could go wrong went wrong.
Our equipment Broke down, my guitar got broken, and red lights were run. However,
I like the place and the people and this is a beautiful city. They didn't truck
to the last verse of "AMTRAK Crescent"...but they warmed up to us.
Thanks for a great time.

The train rides have been great. We switched to the Acela
( which is Greek for "hauls ass" ) but I already miss the Crescent.
It's like the difference between radiator and electric heat. The crew of the
Crescent is friendly and involved with you and your trip. A whole different
vibe on the other trains, more commuter-esque. At least people are using them
and I'm not complaining at all. More on that later. Just know Amtrak
and their people are top rate.

OKAY, New York City is next. Wednesday the 11th. Tribeca.
Send yens' friends.

Hope everyone is safe and warm.

Scott Miller


Tuesday, February 03, 2004

Pix Blitz 

Let's pick up a few missed spots due to blocked blog ... and some pix!

01/28 Birmingham, AL Workplay Theater

From morning television to sports talk radio, I invited the city of Birmingham
to come rock the night away. (Wearing my lucky Vol socks for good measure).


01/29 Atlanta, GA Smith's Olde

Now the band has arrived and we prepare for sound check. "The pot is on
the stove and the eye is on" is the code-phrase here.

thanks to deaf goat for the pic

Spent two days off in Newnan, GA here on the lake.

Way down, in Columbus Georgia...long to be back in TN.

(that's a song)

02/04 Charlottesville, Va Starr Hill

W&M begat TJ

TJ begat UVA

GW begat it all

There is a picture of Shawn McWilliams like this for every year he has been
on the planet....

UVA Quad needs engineering

02/05 Union Station, Washington,
DC @4:30

Here's a letter Congressman John J. Duncan, Jr. was kind enough to send to other members of the U.S. House of Representatives.

Come Hear the Music!

Dear Colleague:

I am writing you to invite you and your staff to enjoy the music of one of my constituents, Scott Miller, and his band The Commonwealth, on Thursday, February 5th at 4:30 at Union Station. He will be performing in the Amtrak waiting area.

Scott Miller and The Commonwealth are rising stars in the American roots music scene, also known as Americana. Their songs blend rock music with elements of country, bluegrass and folk and often focus on American historical themes. Their albums have appeared on annual critics top ten lists in The New York Times and in Billboard magazine.

After writing a song for his last album about a ride on Amtrak’s Crescent line from New Orleans to New York, Scott decided to tour the Eastern U.S. on the Crescent, playing shows with the band along the route. By teaming up with Amtrak, he hopes to raise awareness of the decline and future potential of passenger rail travel and bring attention to the fabled Crescent (a route that was inaugurated in 1891 by the Richmond and Danville Railroad and operated by Southern Railway until 1979).

In addition, Scott is creating an audio and video diary of the tour that will include conversations with passengers, Amtrak employees and others along the route, which he hopes will become material for more great American music. I hope you will be able to find time in your busy schedule to enjoy some good East Tennessee music on February 5th.


John J. Duncan, Jr.

Member of Congress




Monday, February 02, 2004

Greetings from Charlotte, NC 

I can feel the pain in the air after last night's loss in the Superbowl. For those of you who don't know, the superbowl is where we show the world how obnoxious our entertainment industry is while selling beers and cars. And occasionly, as was last night, there is a good game on...

"WE'RE GATHERING STEAM" as we say in the railroad business. Todd Steed's uncle, BS Owen came down to see us off on the Crescent in B'ham. We had a great visit and got some video of him. You can listen to an interview with him here. He worked the Crescent line for 40 years. It'd be hard to find a person these days to stick with a company that long.... Hell, you'd be hard pressed to find a company to stick with a WORKER that long. I got to quit living in the past ...

We then proceeded to rock Atlanta, Greenville ( thanks for the Knoxville invasion on that one ) and then Charlotte. We now kill this day and get on the train at 2AM and arrive in Charlottesville, VA around 7 AM. I hope some folks come out for that show just so my folks don't loom so large in the crowd.

I'm begging here. Please.

Starr Hill Wed. Feb. 4th Charlottesville, VA

The shows have been great. THe band is cookin' and we're having a GREAT time on the train. AND we're finally giving away train tickets, so spread the word and get some folks out. It's time and we're ready.

Rock on, world.

Scott Miller

Saturday, January 24, 2004

Amtrak Crescent Rocking 

With a small but mighty crowd, New Orleans took us back. Same with Hattiesburg and then last night Jackson, Mississippi. The rock is on in fine form, I believe.

And now we are gathering steam. A show for Tuscaloosa tonight and then Birmingham will need to prepare.

The trains rides are FANTASTIC. I'll post some picutures before too long. Amtrak has two for one buddy passes they're giving away, and a true ticket/trip give away will hopefully be in place starting in Birmingham on wednesday.

Please spread the word that we are on the way north, and note a date was added in Hoboken, NJ.

More show date info here at http://www.thescottmiller.com

I'll post again soon with more, if this doesn't annoy people too much. You'll be getting more email on the mailing list for the next couple of weeks because all the weblog entries at http://scotmiller.blogspot.com are sent to this list too.

D-Day museum in N.O.
How lots of people look like Huey Long


Sunday, January 18, 2004

God Only Knows 

Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow....
The Sun'll come out tomorrow....
If I leave here tomorrow...

And I do leave here tomorrow. I'll do my best to keep up with entries; I have no idea who will read these things. Hopefully, they'll make some sort of sense.

All Aboard the Amtrak Crescent! Thanks to all who have helped put this tour together: Amtrak ( Caroline, Hank), Sugar Hill, Molly Nagel, Rick Cady, Brad Hunt, Joie Todd Kerns, Elissa Sanders, The Commonwealth, John Scheib, Don Walker, Jeff Davis, Johnny Wright-wing, Scott Carpenter, David Glover, Mary Helen Glover, anybody I've missed and my kick-ass wife, Thea who has put up with me ranting and dreaming over the last few months.

Let the journey begin.


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