• Kaitlyn Chatwood

Buzzing for Robin Miller’s debut album ‘Beelines’

Musician Robin Miller will release his debut album ‘Beelines’ on the 27th of August. This mesmerising and transcendent guitar solo album will bring you back to an inner calm amidst the current chaos and allow for a blissful afternoon of relaxation.

Robin Miller draws on his Hebridean roots and influences from around the world to create a wonderful blend of eclectic fingerpicking, graceful melodies and open-tuned chordal parts.

There are thirteen tracks on the album and each one is unique in its influence. The title track ‘Beelines’ is a reference to his father’s lifelong beekeeping passion; the Moorish ‘Jessie’s Kaftan’ was first given life in Glasgow, then completed after a trip to Morocco.

Miller pays tribute to the Arizona musician Rainer Ptacek with his next single ‘Rainer’ which is a moving slide guitar. The tracks ‘Tigh-na-Beart’ (translated from Gaelic as ‘House of the Loom’) and ‘Birthe Marie Sails to Lunga’ are in reference to the western isles around Scotland where the musician grew up. There is also a famous rusting shipwreck between Islay and Jura (isles to the southwest of Scotland) which influenced the more metallic ‘Wyre Majestic’, allowing a musical sketch of the land.

Miller draws on inspiration from. the holy trinity of British fingerstyle guitarists Bert Jansch, Davy Graham and John Renbourn as well as his Hebridean heritage for his tracks overall.

Robin Miller explains; “[a]lthough the album is instrumental I had fairly clear ideas about what I wanted each tune to say emotionally or in relation to the musicians who have inspired me. I hope that this can be wordlessly conveyed to anyone listening – hopefully the melodies and emotion come across more than the technique.”

The musician was born in South Uist and grew up in a remote part of the Hebridean island of Islay. He was surrounded by Scottish culture and music most of his life yet influences from around the world arrived on the island, Milller says; "[h]alf the island would go to the monthly auctions - these started off with livestock and finished off with second hand goods like old LP's. When I had some money from stacking peat or chopping logs this was where I bought the records that opened my imagination. This is how I first heard Bert Jansch and Nick Drake.”

Miller moved to Glasgow in his late teens where he busked the streets at night, loving the sound of the guitar moving through the empty streets of the city by bouncing off buildings. He began to play with folk bands before he toured France and Italy as a session player.

His eclectic style of guitar playing became an intrinsic component of the music act ‘Zuba’ from Glasgow. Miller’s guitar combined with the vocals from Jerry Boweh created a beautiful, surreal blend and their 2005 album ‘Allez’ won the JPF African Album of the Year. The album itself was described as ‘truly brilliant’ by Bob Harris.

Miller moved back to Argyll to work in elderly care and returned to his acoustic roots.

Robin Miller’s singular, eclectic guitar fingerpicking debut album is highly anticipated with its transcendent melodies and notes of adornment.

‘Beelines’ is available from the 27th August 2021.