Blue Avengers
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Blue Avengers

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The Blue Avengers dropped off their latest, In From the Cold, and it certainly helped warm up the office a bit! The sweet-toned Alana Miller leads the six-piece through some jazzy R&B, all sultry and cool, on an eclectic mix of covers, some more traditional like "Summertime" and "Mercy, Mercy, Mercy," and some more contemporary, including a soulful version of Sheryl Crows' "My Favorite Mistake." Hear some much needed sunshine with the bright sounds of Blue Avengers as they play an early show at Milestones on Saturday, February 25th. - Freetime Magazine, Rochester, NY February 15, 2006


Blue Avengers, a band that pushes its music ahead with distinctive combinations of traditional soul, pop and hints of cabaret jazz, has released a second album, “Chasing Rainbows in the Dark.” A CD release party will be held Saturday, April 26, from 7 – 10 pm at High Fidelity.

The band, formed in 2004, consists of five musicians, including Alana Miller on lead vocals and husband Bob Miller on guitar and vocals.

Readers might remember Alana Miller in her roles at Digital Rochester and, Later, High Technology of Rochester Inc. She resigned the latter position several years ago to devote more time to music, her first love. Bob Miller continues as president of the Rochester Group, a software firm.

Unlike the band’s first album, 2005’s “In From the Cold,” “Chasing Rainbows in the Dark” is made up entirely of originals.

“With my ability to focus just on the music business, we have had more time to write our own material,” Alana Miller says. Most of the songs are about life, love and observations. “I’m a reflective and poetic person, so that’s how I’m inspired,” she says. “My husband ins more analytical that I am and really works on developing a story. I am more poetic, and he is more storytelling.” - Rochester Business Journal, April 14, 2008


The sun is shining, spring is here, and The Blue Avengers have a new CD out (Chasing Rainbows in the Dark), what more could you want!

The positive vibe of the first track, “Winds of Love,” reflects the season, and also showcases the immense talents of lead singer, Alana Miller and guitarist Bob Miller. The sassy, soulful pipes of Alana mingle perfectly with Bob’s steadfast fret work throughout, with jazzy blues appeal.

This, their sophomore effort, features sophisticated songwriting from the husband/wife team, tackling a mixture of topics, from the love-gone-wrong scenario on “Gone Like a Bad Dream” and the story of dreams crushed on “Corporate Refugee.”

The Blue Avengers’ diverse palette of styles is what truly sets them apart. Hear for yourself as they celebrate the release at High Fidelity on Saturday, April 26th (7pm). - Freetime Magazine, April 23, 2008


Rochester’s Blue Avengers’ sophomore CD, “Chasing Rainbows In the Dark,” is a sweet, sweet platter of the band’s trademark soul. And this time it’s bona fide original, proving that the band isn’t just good at adopting and adapting, but at creating as well. There are classic period-correct nods to Stax-era soul coated by a contemporary veneer. Alana Miller continues to enchant with her warm coo, and hubby Bob Miller’s production is that invisible veil that unobtrusively holds it all together. Sensuous, sexy, soulful, and fine. - City Newspaper, April 23, 2008


"The worst crap I ever heard." - Brother Wease, WCMF, Rochester, NY USA


Yeah they have "blue" in the name, but there's a whole lotta soul going on here. The Blue Avengers offer a passionate blend of blues and Motown; vocalist Alana Miller's voice is the epitome of sultry and smooth. - City Newspaper, Rochester, NY, January 6, 2006


The Blue Avengers figured they'd pulled of a big coup last summer while playing at the WCMF stage at he Park Avenue Festival. They slipped a copy of their CD, In From the Cold, to an employee of the radio station, with instructions to get it to Brother Wease. "The very next morning, less than 24 hours later, he's bashing us on the air," says lead singer Alana Miller. "It hurt ... but you've got to pick up and keep going."

And the Blue Avengers are doing just that Saturday at Milestones.

A Rochester native, Miller sang with local '80s rockers Outcast before moving to New York City to try her hand at a few things, including off-Broadway shows. That included a work by French playwright Moliere. "I didn't know how to speak French," Miller says. "One night, I got stuck on one French word until somebody bailed me out."

Miller returned here for a job helping young companies get established, but this spring left it for two full-time jobs: raising two children with her husband and guitarist, Bob Miller; and running the Blue Avengers.

In From the Cold is heavy on standards. The Gershwin classic "Summertime." And contemporary stuff from Isaac Hayes and even Sheryl Crow.

Live, the Blue Avengers are drummer Paul Hiscutt, bassist Gary Opipari and keyboardist Tom Folan. Folan is an intriguing addition. Founder of Rochester's early music group, The Publick Musick, he's pursuing a fantasy that doesn't come readily to musicians specializing in Bach. "Our keyboard player has been waiting for some time," says Miller, "for women to throw their panties at him." - Democrat & Chronicle, Rochester, NY, January 5, 2006


Alana Miller recently stepped away from the corporate world to focus on music making.

She is pursuing her true passion as lead vocalist with The Avengers, a five-person band that performs classic R&B. Her husband, Robert Miller, president of the Rochester Group and a graduate of the Berklee College of Music, plays guitar in the six-member band. The other musicians work in teaching, banking, information technology and industry.

Miller enjoyed her work as program director for High Technology of Rochester - and earlier as executive director of Digital Rochester.

But musical performance was never far from her mind. Miller graduated in 1983 from SUNY College at Brockport with a theater degree, then spent the next decade supporting herself with waitressing and ad agency temp work to sing in small Manhattan nightclubs.

"I feel blessed to be pursuing my passion," says Miller, who with her husband is recording a CD that will include tunes such as "Summertime," "Ain't That Peculiar" and "You've Got Me Hummin'."

"If I had to do it over again, I definitely would have taken some business courses in college. You can have all the talent in the world, but if you don't know how to market yourself, then you won't succeed." - Rochester Business Journal, Rochester, NY, May 27, 2005


"This five-piece stirs up soulful and jazzy blues for fans of Bonnie Raitt and Norah Jones... Blue Avengers' vocalist Alana Miller hits the sweet spot." - Freetime Magazine, March 9, 2007


"Mother. Mentor. Musician. Muse. Alana Miller is an inherently rich, warm, and inviting woman, whose artistic and professional ranges and pursuits place her among Rochester's brightest and most intriguing women." (Read full article at www.blueavengers.com) - Rochester Woman Magazine, Rochester, NY July 2006


Discography

Chasing Rainbows in the Dark is a soulful collection of originals. In it, Blue Avengers create a reflective “soundtrack of their lives”. The CD's release is April 2008. Gone Like a Bad Dream and Winds of Love among other tracks are on the radio within the first week of its release.

Their first CD, In From The Cold, was recorded in NYC and released in 2005. It is an eclectic mix of covers, some more traditional like "Summertime" and "Mercy, Mercy, Mercy," and some more contemporary, including a soulful version of Sheryl Crows' "My Favorite Mistake.” The CD is available at selected stores and online at CDbaby.com, Amazon.com, iTunes and Rapsody.

The following songs are played on independent stations such as Northcoast Radio WJZR 105.9FM Rochester, NY and Radio Sinaai 105.5 FM Belgium: I Just Wanna Make Love to You, You Got Me Hummin, Time of Our Lives, Stormy Monday, Precious Precious and Unchain My Heart.

Photos

Bio

"Yeah they have "blue" in the name, but there's a whole lotta soul going on here..." Bob and Alana each bring a unique style to their music, creating a soulful, sophisticated yet playful sound. Alana’s worldliness and theatrical background bring a richness to her song delivery, an authenticity to her phrasing, and an innate smooth, sultry presence to the band's sound. Bob is a funk and blues player by nature. This talent combined with his creativity and business savvy provide a solid foundation for the band.

Their influences include Steely Dan, Larry Carlton, Carole King, Led Zepplin, Beatles, Kate Bush, Steve Cropper, Eurythmics and Solomon Burke.

Their story:
Lead singer, Alana Miller began dabbling in the arts as a child. She played the role of Cinderella at the age of 11 in community theater, and painted a moon and sun on her wall by 14, somewhat to her mother’s dismay. She loved writing poetry, eventually adding melodies to her words. Her inspirations came from walking the city streets of Rochester, NY where she was born and later its countryside. It wasn’t until her college years that she began working with a band. Her study abroad in England inspired Alana to put her talents in action. After returning to the states, she joined musicians to create the Caste. It soon became one of Rochester’s top club bands. After one year of local success, they headed for the big apple.

Alana will never forget her first gig in NYC. On the way to the Bitter End music club, the cab-driver dubbed her as ‘fresh’. It took several years of pounding the pavement to understand what the cabbie had meant. Life in the big apple was taking its toll. Her band went through the usual changes of members and style. They performed all over the city at venues like Lion's Den, Atlantis and West End Gate. But after 10 years of playing the role of starving artist, she decided it was time to focus on having a family of her own. This took on a whole new direction for Alana, namely the Middle East. Starting a family in Asia was a far cry from the dear New York State she was familiar with. Three years later, she returned to home with her beautiful son. Being a single mother had a new set of challenges, so music was set aside temporarily.

Then she met Bob.

Bob Miller was inspired to launch his career when living abroad in England, as well. He landed a sweet gig as a session guitarist in London in the late seventies. But when offered a record deal as a singer, he passed it by. (Why, Bob, why?) When he wasn’t in the studio, he was gigging at pubs. As fate may have it, the members of Bob’s first band reunited in 2005 to record his first CD, In From the Cold. George Petit, producer, Walker Recordings and Matt Becker, Indie artist never left the music scene.

After four years in London, Bob returned to the States and attended the Berklee School of Music. He then decided to move his professional direction to the business world, eventually becoming president of software company, The Rochester Group. He even spent his free time at Watkins Glen and other tracks across North America as a race car driver. But music and his guitar collection were beckoning.

That’s when he met Alana.

When Bob and Alana met, they were both business professionals. They both had young children, and shared a passion and destiny in music. Today, they are happily married, live in a big house, have 2 creative kids and a studio in their basement, and have just finished writing and recording their 2nd CD.

Bob & Alana are joined by Chris Northington on bass, Chris Ott on keys, and Kristen Shiner McGuire on drums.

For more information including member bios, upcoming gigs, press coverage and to listen to tracks off their CDs, Chasing Rainbows In The Dark, and In From The Cold, visit www.blueavengers.com.