Here at the Send Me Your Ears studio we’ve been listening to Pete Miller’s latest single, Hard To Find, released on December 7, 2022.

Philadelphia-based Miller has created a stripped-back song which harks back to the good old days of one-take recording in the style of Johnny Cash. If you’re looking for a simple country song to take to your next campfire party, then this is it!

There are elements of Bob Dylan in the vocals and you can feel as you listen that Miller has a carefree attitude towards presentation. His skill lies in the passion of the performance and the raw energy that his delivery captures.

Starting gently on acoustic guitar for a few bars, the song quickly melds into a very typical Johnny Cash rhythm. It’s almost as if Miller is channelling the spirit of Cash in this track! We spotted a touch of the great Roger Miller in there too – a relative by any chance!

There’s a charm in the simplicity of this song. It’s acoustic strummed guitar and vocal. There are no embellishments, and no changes of instrumentation, this is raw and in-your-face boldness.

In a world of manufactured “fast food” style music that has been tweaked to perfection, this is a refreshing change. Fans of old-style country will adore the simplicity of Hard To Find. We can imagine this song being covered at Country Music Jamborees across North America throughout 2023.

Ideas from our ears

A couple of EQ cuts around 200Hz and 600Hz would reduce some occasional ‘muddy’ and ‘honky’ tones. A high shelf boost across the top 3 octaves would increase the brightness in the track too. A compressor on the vocal track would help it fit better with the guitar and an additional compressor on the master would help add some extra warmth as well as raising the volume. A stereo plug-in (most DAWs have some kind) would help give the track some width and add some space.

Final thoughts

Pete Miller’s, Hard To Find, is a hark back to the days when an entire album was written, recorded and out on the radio by the end of the day. Fans of Johnny Cash will be thrilled by the unpretentiousness of this recording.