Playing for a Miracle

“He was the best, that’s it really” – Colin Aberdeen

Whether it was personally interacting with Al Miller or simply watching him on stage from a distance, he had the same effect on people. “I can only describe it as like being graced with the warmest sun, not blinding, just enlightening,” singer, songwriter and guitarist of Los Blancos, Colin Aberdeen described following Miller’s untimely passing due to cancer on Saturday, Sept. 7. He was 53 years old.

He had an infectious energy and love of life about him right up until the end and a fighting spirit made evident in the chemo therapy schedule he’d alter to accommodate gigs. Originally from Mount Clemens, Michigan, Miller moved to Syracuse in 1969, made Mattydale his home and attended OCC. Among his many talents and accomplishments, Miller was well known in the music community for “the thickest, most natural groovy groove on rubboard” as Mark Nanni, keys and accordion player for Los Blancos, described.

“He was the best, that’s it, really,” Aberdeen says. “Great dude, beautiful, warm smile, stone in love with his wife {Debra Miller} and his life. He made others shine. Wherever they came to join with us in the celebration of every day through music, they made friends and lit the place up with warmth and humor. For any who had the pleasure of hearing him sizzle on that rubboard with Los Blancos or anyone else he played with and bask in the glow of his zest for life and love for his wife, I am so glad to have you to share those memories with.”

AlMiller2Los Blancos, who also played several benefits for Miller, will perform from 5:30 to 7 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 22 in another benefit for Kim Milovics-McCarthy, longtime Hullar’s bartender and service industry woman who is suffering from stage four brain cancer. “She has always looked out for the down-trodden,” Aberdeen says. “Great lady, hoping for a miracle.” The event runs from 1 to 7 p.m. at Hullar’s, 411 E. Genesee St., Fayetteville. For more information, call 637-0043.

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