For crying out loud

Dusty Miles and the Cryin’ Shame

Dusty Miles and the Cryin’ Shame will play the Dance at the Corner Barn in Graeagle, California—Intersection of Highway 89 and State Route 70—at 7 p.m. June 30. Admission is $6. Kids under 12 get in free.

Dusty Miles is one hell of a clever stage name for a country music singer-songwriter and guitarist—except it’s not.

“It’s my name,” Miles said. “My middle name is Miles. My last name is King.”

With a name like that, did he have any choice in becoming a country musician?

“I guess not, and it’s funny because my mom doesn’t even really like country music all that much,” he said.

Miles and his band—the Cryin’ Shame—have been playing the local music scene since 2012. Their repertoire is comprised of mostly originals—songs that meld classic rock, Americana and rockabilly influences with the band’s country roots. And while the band certainly doesn’t fit under the cowpunk label, there is a subtle punk undercurrent to the music.

“I think because I grew up in Reno, and it’s like that was the music that was coming through,” Miles said. “Years ago—I mean, I’m sure it’s sure the same way now—Reno was a good spot for punk rock bands to stop off, so we kind of draw on that influence. You’d have that and then you’d have Johnny Cash or, like, Willie Nelson … or Kris Kristofferson or Merle Haggard playing at the Nugget. So there was always that—I don’t know—that Reno, Nevada, kind of like Western influence that was always the undertone of things. And then it came more to the forefront, because I’m older. That’s what I like—so that’s what I like.”

Country and Western may have won out as Miles’ preferred musical style, but the other influences remain—for both him and his bandmates.

The Cryin’ Shame is comprised of multi-instrumentalists. Drummer Danny Horton is also a singer-songwriter and guitarist. Chris Rodgers, guitar and lap steel player, is the group’s youngest member. He stood in on bass for a time when the current stand-up bass player, Christopher Beucherie, was in grad school. Rodgers has a bass that Beucherie gave him when he left the band. It’s a nice exemplification of the musicians’ diverse influences.

“On the back of it, he’s got Lemmy’s signature,” Miles said. “He’s got Lee Rocker on the back of it.”

“It’s got autographs of all the bands that we’ve played with in the past—try to get them to sign it,” Beucherie said. “Well, we didn’t play with Lemmy, but I did take it to the concert and have him sign it.”

“It sounds way cooler when you tell that story that we played with him, by the way,” Miles interjected.

“And Eddie Spaghetti from the Supersuckers signed it, but, I mean, it’s all his stuff now,” Beucherie said, nodding toward Rodgers. “And you should be getting other people to sign it.”

“I was waiting for them to all wear off—then paint something else on the back,” Rodgers joked.

For all their musical influences—perhaps in part because of it—the bandmates’ combined sound is wholly distinctive. That they apply it to producing mostly originals is icing on the cake. And there’s a new, as-yet untitled album on the way.

“We should have it pressed and ready for people’s greasy little hands, I’d say by the middle of July,” Miles said.

The record will be released digitally, as well as on CD and vinyl.