- Released: October 19, 1999
- Label: Hightone Records
Entertainment Weekly - 11/19/99, p.151
"...so bona fide country he can make even a Gene Pitney cover...seem mountain-born..." - Rating: B+
CMJ - 10/18/99, p.25
"...one of the most consistently excellent roots rock albums of the year."
Dirty Linen - 2-3/00, p.78
"...he's great...CRUEL MOON showcases [his] singer/songwriter talents....'I'm Not Getting Any Better At Goodbye' is an absolute tear-jerker."
- 1.Does My Ring Burn Your Finger
- 2.Love Match
- 3.I'm Gonna Be Strong
- 4.Looking For a Heartache Like You
- 5.Cruel Moon
- 6.Somewhere Trouble Don't Go
- 7.In Memory of My Heart
- 8.Sometimes I Cry
- 9.I'm Too Used to Loving You
- 10.I'm Not Getting Any Better at Goodbye
- 11.It's Been a Change
Personnel includes: Buddy Miller (vocals, guitar); Julie Miller, Emmylou Harris, Steve Earle, Jim Lauderdale, Joy Lynn White (vocals); Steve Fischel (pedal steel guitar); Tammy Rogers (fiddle); Phil Maderia (accordion, organ); Byron House (bass); Don Heffington (drums).
Recording information: Dogtown Studios (07/1999).
Straddling the worlds of country and rock, CRUEL MOON has the best of both worlds. There's an earthy honesty to every performance, but the album also roars like a monster. Big, thick beats power the loud songs, while crystal-clear silence surrounds the ballads. Miller's a dazzling guitar player. He has toured with Steve Earle and Emmylou Harris (in her Spyboy band), both of whom show up on CRUEL MOON.
Miller's songs were written primarily with his wife Julie Miller, whose own BROKEN THINGS was released at nearly the same time. Her "Somewhere Trouble Don't Go" rolls along like the slinkiest boogie in the Northern Hemisphere. Covers of Barry Mann & Cynthia Weil's "I'm Gonna Be Strong" (a hit for Gene Pitney) and the Staple Singers' "It's Been a Change" showcase Miller's supple arrangements and vivid singing. Like Earle and Harris, Miller doesn't fit easily into radio formats of the '90s. But, as the years fall away, CRUEL MOON is sure to be embraced for what it is: a great album.