Andy Miller, a local song writer, performed two of his original songs at the Capital City Weekly. (Clara Miller | Capital City Weekly)

Andy Miller, a local song writer, performed two of his original songs at the Capital City Weekly. (Clara Miller | Capital City Weekly)

‘Justin Parish’s beard’: Musician releases songs that are uniquely Juneau

On Halloween, Juneau singer-songwriter Andy Miller released an album of 15 songs about Juneau and Southeast Alaska for free on Bandcamp. The songs, usually averaging a minute and half in play time, range in subject matter from Breeze In, life in Douglas, and Rep. Justin Parish’s beard.

“I think the Justin Parish one I like a lot,” Miller said. “It’s kind of a nice song but it’s also sort of funny. At Folk Fest actually Justin Parish got up front in the front row and (stroked his beard), so I think he was more pleased with it than I was. I didn’t really know him before that but I wrote the song and knew people who were mutual friends and said, ‘Hey do you know Justin’s text number?’ I think it surprised him to get this song from someone he didn’t know like, ‘I wrote this song about your beard,’ but he was quite pleased.”

This is Miller’s second album, the first of which he released in college; he described it as being more of the standard acoustic, singer-songwriter fare. Back then half the guys had a guitar and Dave Matthews Band could be heard in the halls, he said. He didn’t set out to write funny songs, but the few he played were well received, he said.

“When you go to open mic and no one is paying attention and then you play a funny song, everyone is looking at you,” he said.

Miller used to have a band in Sitka when he lived there, but didn’t become serious about writing until this past winter, when the cold and dark provided him with a significant amount of time to get creative, he said.

“If it weren’t for (“Justin Parish’s Beard”) I probably wouldn’t have written any others, so when you have something that is good, you can feel a lot more confident writing things that aren’t so good,” Miller said about the album layout, stating his favorites are towards the front.

Miller wrote and performed several of the songs on the album for the 2016 and 2017 Folk Fest, like “Ketchikan,” “If You Lived in Douglas,” “Woman in the Valley,” “Juneau Hasn’t Changed, It’s You That’s Changed,” and of course, “Justin Parish’s Beard.” “If You Live in Douglas” is the most “genuine, sincere song” from the album, Miller said, since his girlfriend does not live in town, but the song imagines what she’d experience if she did; the other songs are a bit more playful and general about life in Southeast.

Miller hadn’t initially planned to release his funny songs but he wanted to experiment with recording for a future album, and because people at past Folk Fests had asked him if they could find his music online. Now they can either stream or download the songs for free at: https://andymiller.bandcamp.com/releases.

 


 

• Clara Miller is the Capital City Weekly’s staff writer. She can be reached at clara.miller@capweek.com.

 


 

More in News

Sarah Palmer talks to a driver before administering a COVID-19 test in December 2020. On Tuesday, the City and Borough of Juneau reported an uptick in cases identified over the weekend that included Martin Luther King Jr. Day.  However, the community's COVID risk level remains at the moderate level, which was set last week after months with the community risk level set at high. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire)
COVID-19 cases tick up over holiday weekend

Two CBJ employees among those testing positive

Members of the Recall Dunleavy group are close to achieving their goal for signatures, with only about 20,000 signatures remaining as of Jan. 19, 2021. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire file)
Recall Dunleavy group gathers steam for final push

The group has nearly reached its signature requirement.

White House, tribes joined to deliver Alaska Native vaccines

The initiative has treated Indigenous tribes as sovereign governments and set aside special vaccine shipments.

Has it always been a police car? (Michael Penn / Juneau Empire)
Police calls for Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2021

This report contains public information from law enforcement and public safety agencies.

This 2020 electron microscope image provided by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases - Rocky Mountain Laboratories shows SARS-CoV-2 virus particles which causes COVID-19, isolated from a patient in the U.S., emerging from the surface of cells cultured in a lab. On Monday, Oct. 5, 2020, the top U.S. public health agency said that coronavirus can spread greater distances through the air than 6 feet, particularly in poorly ventilated and enclosed spaces. But agency officials continued to say such spread is uncommon, and current social distancing guidelines still make sense. (NIAID-RML via AP)
COVID at a glance for Monday, Jan. 18

The most recent state and local numbers.

Even as coronavirus numbers are going down and vaccines are being distributed, pandemic-related facilities like the testing site at Juneau International Airport, seen here in this Oct. 12 file photo, are scheduled to remain for some time, according to city health officials. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire file)
Vaccines are coming, but pandemic facilities will remain

Testing sites and other COVID-19 operations will continue, officials say, but infections are trending down.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 
In this undated file photo provided by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, an airplane flies over caribou from the Porcupine caribou herd on the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in northeast Alaska.
Trump administration issues leases in Alaska’s Arctic refuge

Leases were issued for tracts for which it had received required paperwork.

Most Read