Recent American Idol contestant Alex Miller performed in Nashville for the first time last Thursday (July 8), making his Music City debut at country music's Mother Church.
The Kentucky-based teenager with a larger-than-life personality and heart-full of Merle Haggard songs lived a lifelong dream by joining Grammy award-winner Rhonda Vincent as a special guest during a Springer Mountain Farms Bluegrass Nights concert at the Ryman Auditorium.
"The Ryman is one of the stages that every country performer dreams of being on," Miller told Wide Open Country. "There is so much history there! Bill Monroe, Loretta Lynn and so many more fellow Kentuckians have sung or been a part of the shows there. The fact that I got to perform for the first time in Nashville where so many legends have stood is truly an honor. I will say I feel like I got a nice breath of hillbilly dust after being on that stage!"
Music Mayhem reports that Miller performed a bluegrass standard from his Idol repertoire, Jimmy Martin's "Freeborn Man," in the building that made the genre famous with Vincent, one of its most lauded modern practitioners, on mandolin.
"Rhonda and I met at the Lincoln Jamboree in Hodgenville, Kentucky last year," Miller told Wide Open Country about his latest on-stage collaborator. "She was doing a show that night and I was part of the group of performers that opened for her. She was so encouraging when I told her about going on Idol, and she wished me well. Maybe that's why I did so well! I have always been a fan of Rhonda and her music, but now I can say I'm a fan of her as a person as well. She is such a nice lady, and a real believer in what she does. She is the Queen of Bluegrass after all!"
Vincent joins Idol judge Luke Bryan, whose kindness landed Miller a still-unannounced debut at the Grand Ole Opry House, in opening doors for a promising, young singer/songwriter.
Miller will reconnect with Vincent in December when he appears at two of her Christmas in Branson events. In the meantime, he'll hit the state fair circuit as an opening act for the likes of Hank Williams Jr., Josh Turner and Lee Brice.
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New music's on the way from Miller, as well.
"Y'all better be watching out because Alex Miller's gonna have him an album out before too long," he told Music Mayhem. "I feel the songs, me and Jerry Salley, the producer of the record, we co-wrote 'em together, and they're really good. And I actually recorded one that Jerry co-wrote with some other folks, and I recorded one from an outside source, so we're doing some different things, but a lot of it is original material, and I'm so excited for it. I hope y'all are ready for it."
"I'm Over You So Get Over Me," the original song Miller performed for his Idol audition, became a fan favorite and his debut single.
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