‘Don’t think twice about it’: Queenscliff blues and roots musician Tex Miller masters the art of seizing opportunity

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‘Don’t think twice about it’: Queenscliff blues and roots musician Tex Miller masters the art of seizing opportunity

Tex Miller gears up for a return to stage as part of November’s Next Generation Concert Series on Queenscliff’s legendary Blues Train.

There’s something that can be said about an artist that can get a crowd moving on a steam train that runs along a scenic railway. Combining four carefully selected Australian Blues acts, a Bellarine Railway heritage train, dinner and drinks for 200 patrons running Saturday 10 months of the year, Queenscliff’s The Blues Train has become renowned for hosting some of the best blues-bleeding nights this region has ever seen. With setlists of both covers and originals, the Blues Train artists are the ones that cement you to the venue right until its final stop. 

The glue set to hold you to the carriage this November is Tex Miller, a Queenscliff-based blues and roots musician who exhibits enough electricity to light up the entire train. 

Stay up to date with all the epic festivals and events happening in and around the region here.


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With the blues running through his veins, Miller has been earning himself a solid reputation for more than a decade now, emerging as a captivating storyteller and standout entertainer at various venues across the region and events, including the likes of Queenscliff Music Festival, Pako Festa, Millions Paws Walk and Blues Boot Camp. 

With years of live performance experience and two releases under his belt – one of which was recorded in Geelong at the home studio of the local blues band, The Mojo Corner, Miller is no stranger to seizing opportunities. 

Since starting a teenage rock back in high school, Miller has gone from strength to strength. All while working as a freelance music journalist, exploring photographing and presenting a weekly radio show on 94.7 The Pulse, Miller has performed opening sets for the likes of Diesel, Richard Clapton and The Black Sorrows; won the ‘Rip A Riff’ Songwriting Contest alongside blues extraordinaire Alister Turrill; studied musical performance; and wrote a song with celebrated musician Tim Neal as part of Geelong’s Connecting Song initiative. 

“The Connecting Song project with Tim Neal was such a fun collaborative experience where you had to write a song about ‘place’. Tim and I co-wrote a song called ‘Stingaree Jack’ which follows the infamous treasure of Benito Bonata that is buried on the shores of Swan Bay, written from the perspective of Stingaree Jack. 

“It was very fun. Tim Neal is such a legend and visionary in the Australian music scene, and I have been very privileged to have so many amazing opportunities pop up. And I think that if there was any advice, when opportunities like this knock on your door, don’t think twice about it.”

Oozing a quiet confidence beyond his years, Miller is embracing opportunity once again as one of the exciting emerging acts to join the Blues Train as part of the newly introduced Next Generation Concert Series

The series, which arrives in November for a sold-out run, will showcase established artists who have contributed to the sustained success of the world-class cultural tourism drawcard, that is The Blues Train, with emerging artists performing their interpretation of roots music suited to the next generation of audiences. With artists handpicked by The Blues Train founder and curator Hugo T Armstrong, Miller joins a worthy lineup of musicians including the likes of established acts George Kamikawa, The McNamarr Project, Damon Smith, Anna Scionti, Nardia, The Mojo Corner, Mission Brown, Lazy Eye, Phil Para Band, and King Canyon, and up and comers Aaron Pollock, Jack Meredith, Eddy Boyle, Georgia Rodgers, Bill Barber, The Von Robertsons, Midnight Jackson and more.

“It’s such a privilege and an honour to be on a lineup with some amazing up and comers,” Miller shares.

“Jack Meredith is fantastic. Eddy Boyle is an amazing harmonica player from Warrnambool who’s done a bunch of music with Tom Richardson and is someone who just follows the kind of same aesthetic of just jumping up and saying yes to every opportunity.

“Looking at back at it all pre-covid and given that the arts has gone through such a structural change over the last two to three years with everything, you just kind of have to grab every opportunity you can now.”

While an honour for Miller to be performing amongst some of his heroes as part of the Blues Train upcoming concert series, it also signifies a full circle moment for the young artist, who spent his formative years working aboard the unique blues music venue. Witnessing some of blues biggest legends ridin’ the rails, Miller has perfected a solo set that will wow you in the first chord. 

“Having worked on The Blues Train and observed gigs, both onboard and elsewhere throughout my musical journey over the past 15 years, and seeing artists at all ilks and stages of their career; it’s mainly about crowd engagement. 

“Everybody wants a bit of a singalong and I think everybody wants to feel a bit of a vibe and feel some happiness, and that’s what you can expect from my set, singalongs and a good vibe all round. I’ve got a bit of a Tom Waits number that I put into my set and I’ve got a couple of bluesy originals from back in the day, and I might try and road test some new material. 

“Doing a different blues project on the side has really opened my eyes to the amount of songs out there and the way you can take a song that somebody else has done in their own way and put your own original interpretation on it.” 

The blues project Miller is referring to is his band, Deep Heat Blues. Formed through their love of traditional Louisiana and Mississippi blues from 1930’s to 1970’s, Deep Heat Blues performs from the songbook of the likes of Little Walter, Sonny Boy Williamson, Taj Mahal, Jimmy Reed and Charlie Musselwhite, mixing electric with an acoustic edge to give you blues that is more “Hill Country” than Chicago. 

Here, Miller takes on guitars and vocals alongside his father Stu on harmonica and vocals,  guitar sensation Lee Henderson on electric guitars, Paul Anderson on drums and vocals and Tim Waters on bass.

I’ve been writing songs and working on the Deep Heat Blues for a bit now as well as just slowly ticking away on my own music and getting into photography as a bit of a side hobby, but I haven’t really performed in a while. I’ve just been trying to keep motivated creatively and try and do different things.” 

While Miller dabbled in live stream gigs on Zoom over lockdown, the upcoming Next Generation Concert Series will mark his first proper solo live gig since before the pandemic. 

“With everybody being at home playing in the last couple of years, not being able to play a gig, the Blues Train Concert Series will be a good catalyst for what’s to come. 

“It’s just such an amazing opportunity that Hugo has presented to all of the emerging artists and the establishing artists. Without opportunities like this, we’d all be sitting playing in our bedrooms and whilst that’s great, it’s also great to get out and share your talent. 

The Blues Train’s been a massive advocate and vehicle for artists for many years now, and it’s such a unique attraction, offering so much to both Victoria and to the Australian Blues and music community in general.”

Limited tickets are available for the Next Generation Concert Series in Queenscliff this November. Find out more here

This article was made in partnership with The Blues Train