“If people don’t leave with a little bounce in their step then I’ve done my job wrong,” said Hazel Miller, whose band returns to town next Thursday, July 18.
Miller has one goal for every show—happiness—and has been achieving the mark for 40 years. “Not everybody can do my job, and I love my job.”
The Hazel Miller Band plays high energy dance music, belting out everything from originals to Earth, Wind and Fire. They also highlight tunes from the Queen of Soul. “I sing the best Aretha Franklin anywhere in Colorado; I’ll put my name on that,” Miller said.
Chances are you’ve heard Hazel Miller sing, even if you haven’t seen the group perform.
From backing up Big Head Todd and the Monsters on their last seven albums to singing behind Garth Brooks and John Oates and Vince Gill, the woman with the powerful voice is a force in the music scene.
Singing professionally since high school, Miller is continuously pleased, and surprised, with what drops in her lap. “Just a few months ago, I got to sing backup for the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band. How cool is that?”
Hazel Miller and her band believe their careers – and their lives – are extraordinary. “When you get to play with people who love music as much as you do, it’s a gift.”
Miller has associated with most of her group for over 40 years. As a result, they have a genuine bond, on and off stage. “We don’t argue, and we don’t fight. I wouldn’t trade them for anything.”
“We’re not a garage band, and we’re not a weekend band,” Miller said. “We are career musicians. This is what we do, and we love it.”
Philosophical about a decades-long career, Miller is proud she could put two sons through college with music and noted that the band’s drummer has two children about to go to college. “This is who we are. It’s why we get up every morning, and it’s why we rehearse every Tuesday night for 3 hours, nonstop. We try to give everybody a fresh show.”
Her genuine appreciation for what she has, rather than she doesn’t, is contagious. “Those days of hoping for a record contract are decades behind us,” Miller said. “We made our peace with that, and probably love this more than we would have a contract. We are blessed that people come out to see us play.”
Humility is a trademark of the seasoned performer, who never hesitates to help set up the equipment and who even approaches interviews with enthusiasm and joy.
The Hazel Miller band plays at 8:30 p.m., Thursday, July 18, at The Lariat, 206 E. Main Street. Tickets are $15 in advance, $20 at the door. Early tickets are available at www.thelariatbv.com