One of my favorite artists to play on my radio show is We Are The Willows, the one-man band of Peter Miller, a Minneapolis resident who also happens to be the ultimate sweetie pie.
Miller deserves his title of “ultimate sweetie pie” for a lot of reasons, the top three being:
- he is a former pre-school teacher
- he has the highest, but most distinctive male voice ever
- he wears tee-shirts with polar bears on them.
But there’s much more to We Are The Willows than that.
Miller’s small body of songs are very Midwestern in that they revolve a lot around places. Cities like Hayward and Eau Claire, Wisconsin are often referenced in the four releases he has put out since starting his We Are The Willows project in 2007.
In addition to his music having a strong sense of place, his songs would not exist with friends and family. Miller tours in a van that is outfitted with a little sleeping hammock which his father helped him fashion. More importantly, he also draws inspiration from many of his personal relationships. (In “A Funeral Dressed as a Birthday,” my personal favorite song of his, he beckons a friend to return home, singing “Come back to us in Minneapolis. We are waiting here for this to become clear, and when you come home your friends are here all around.”)
Moreover, the most refreshing trait Peter Miller possesses is his pure love of music. He tours alone in a van, making just enough money to get from one town to the next to share his compositions and make new friends. What could be more admirable than that?