My album, "Vice
Verses" was nominated by Just
Plain Folks for Best Album, 2004 in the category
of Male Singer/Songwriter, and my song, "Yeah
Whatever" was nominted for Best Lyrics, 2004,
in the same category. Read some reviews below.
McMillan is truly a one-man show, as he wrote, sang, harmonized,
and played multiple instruments on every song of his debut CD, Vice
Verses. this affords him the oppportunity to showcase his tremendous
gift for intricate acoustic guitar playing, and his ability to write
intimate lyrics that ponder marriage, money, and life in general.
In the end, McMillan produces genuine folk layered over complex
- Illinois Entertainer, July, 2003
McMillan is a disciple of the manic guitar-picking school of Leo
Kottke, from which he borrows a fast-strumming, fast-picking style
of rapid rhythmic fits and starts, which causes most mere mortals
to lose complete track of whether the pick is coming or going, pickin'
instead of merely singing a steady melody over the ever-changing
bed of rhythm, McMillan flat-out becomes the rhythm. One measure
he's yelping like a Scottish Terrier, the next measure he's spitting
out half-spoken wisecracks, the next he's bellowing or whistling,
the next he's slow-dancing a dirge.
equally impressively, McMillan the manic Man-Rhythm is also McMillan
the drummer, bass guitarist, baritone guitarist, one-man-band.
may be Scottish, but McMillan's Midwest-accented voice (vaguely
reminiscent of Don Conoscenti, or Bruce Cockburn in his upper register)
doesn't sound much like Scotland. Outside of a fondness for acoustics,
the music on this cleverly titled Vice Verses album doesn't draw
much from the land of bagpipe and reel either.
surrounds his manic acoustic guitar with an array of other sounds:
slide guitar; funky Red Hot Chilli Peppered bass; bubbly electric
guitar that will remind most fans of Paul Simon's Graceland; thick
fuzzy electric guitar buzz; an Andy Stochansky-style layer of manic
percussion forever underneath. And almost all of it he plays himself.
let the dull cover art fool you; or the fact that McMillan's gigging
has been limited mostly to a (large) variety of Chicago and Indiana
clubs. To these ears at least, he sounds deserving of a broader
rhythmic guitar playing is very similar to that of the widely traveled,
talented Boston-based funk-folk poet Peter Mulvey, who is also a
student of the School of Kottke. McMillan's songwriting is more
simple and less ambitious than Mulvey's Waits- and DiFranco-influenced
brand of cerebral urban poetry. Less urbane reflection, more plain-spoken
if ever McMillan's unpretentious clever upbeat word choices lack
anything in complexity or profundity, he more than covers up the
deficit in the ingenuity of arrangement. You won't care much what
he's singing, but when you come out of the daze of trying to follow
all the hyper chord and rhythmic changes, you'll find he's been
singing some pretty entertaining lines, too.
chuckle-provoking, occasionally even moving. With all the right
phrases perfectly punctuated by sudden bellows and howls."
[The Bottom Line:] Four stars -- I dug it.
Reviewer: Darryl Cater, Music Reviewer, www.ChicagoGigs.com
[Vice Verses] is a fresh look at the way guitars used to be played,
when solos mattered. They don't ramble on ad nauseum, nor do they
get skipped altogether. Lyrics are comfy -- not too deep, not bubblegum.
I thought it was great. Look forward to seeing more, hopefully with
influences from additinal [sic] genres -- maybe some reggae or ska,
just for the hell of it."
Cuz'n Earl [via email, posted on
water and aspirin the morning after, so is an acoustic act necessary
after such fury. Scottish McMillan headed up the acoustic stage
with energetic acoustic singer/songwriter fare. McMillan is quickly
earning a reputation locally with his fiery guitarwork, drawing
comparisons with Michael Kelsey and other gifted players. It was
an engaging set."
[a review of Scottish's live solo performance at www.IndianpolisMusic.net
showcase, September, 2002]
"One-man band works wonders on ‘Vice
Scottish McMillan can do wonders with little more than his voice,
hands and guitar.
On his debut album, “Vice Verses” (available now), he can careen
from the humorous and funky (“Wolf Whistle”) to the tranquil (the
Phish-like “It Stays”) to everywhere in between.
While McMillan could use a little variation in the instrument department,
he uses what he has well, especially on “Don’t Listen to Me.” Here,
he quickly dives from his frequent funky guitar licks and playful
vocals to a heavy-metalish rage, and vice versa. (The album’s title
says it all). McMillan is no slouch when it comes to songwriting,
either. On the opening cut, “Natural,” McMillan cleverly questions
what exactly entails something being “natural.” As he sings, “Natural
love is faith in fate/Natural time is never late/Natural people
won’t regret/How much more natural can you get?”
McMillan makes this album a treat for both pondering and melodic
purposes alike. It should leave fans of both folk and funk with
something to talk about.
Reviewer: Max A. Herman, Chicago
Arts & Entertainment Magazine