Hustle & Slide

Nathan Miller gets a second chance to get the brush-off by his idol

On songs such as "Helen Keller" and "Music's My Religion," you can almost see the smirk on Miller's face as he lets his groove devolve into wonderfully unpolished, funky grit. When you listen to this twentysomething white kid from Rochester lay down the hammer with confidence and sing, "Jesus, please believe us/The music leads us in a new direction/Christ, I just might just shine a light on the dark of the question," you can't help but say to yourself, "Goddamn right on."

"The next lesson I have to learn is to do what those old blues guys did—cut half my notes, slash 'em, to get to the real heart of what I need to play," Miller says with a chuckle. "What Buddy Guy can say with one note takes me about 35."

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