An Update on John Miller

John MillerBluegrass picker and songwriter John Miller still needs our help.

Miller, who plays with The Travelers and the Eastman String Band, is undergoing chemotherapy and radiation treatments for tongue cancer, and is unable to work. John has a few weeks of treatment remaining and will need time to recover after that before he has the strength to work again.

As readers of Bluegrass Today may remember, a special fund for John was set up a month ago to help John and his wife, Cathy, with living expenses. There’s still time to contribute to the fund and be entered into a drawing for an Eastman E10D guitar, which will be awarded to one of the donors in a random drawing.

Contributions of any size are welcome, and no amount is too small to be entered in the drawing for the guitar, which is the same model John plays on stage and in the studio. So far, there are about 25 names in the pool, so chances of winning the guitar are still good.

Checks, in John’s name, can be sent to:

Carter Bank and Trust
370 Arbor Drive
Christiansburg VA 24073

Please write John Miller fund in the memo section of your check.

The drawing will be held at 2:00 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 28, at the Eastman Strings booth during the IBMA conference and festival in Raleigh, N.C.

When the fund was first announced, I said I’d have my head shaved if a single donor pledged $500 to the fund. It’s with decidedly mixed feelings that I report that someone made the donation. So just before the drawing for the guitar, Eastman representative Tim Finch will make my hair disappear. I’ll look even goofier than usual, but that’s OK. It’s for a good cause. My only concern is that Tim doesn’t have such a steady hand.

John has a feeding tube and tires easily from the treatments, but he’s in good spirits and appreciates everything the bluegrass community is doing for him. He hopes to get to IBMA for a while this year, for the songwriter showcase – a song John and I wrote is one of 10 selected to be performed this year – and to make sure I keep my promise and go bald.

Meanwhile, every dollar contributed to John is one less thing John has to worry about while he focuses on his health. Please help if you can.

Editor’s Note: We will have video of David’s shearing available shortly after it occurs, and hopefully John can be on hand to bear witness.

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About the Author

David Morris

David Morris, an award-winning songwriter and journalist, has written for Bluegrass Today since its inception. He joined its predecessor, The Bluegrass Blog, in 2010. His 40-year career in journalism included more than 13 years with The Associated Press, a stint as chief White House correspondent for Bloomberg News, and several top editing jobs in Washington, D.C. He is a life member of IBMA and the DC Bluegrass Union. He and co-writers won the bluegrass category in the Chris Austin Songwriting Contest at MerleFest in 2015.