Bella White & John R. Miller Sign to Rounder Records

A couple of the most promising up-and-coming performers and songwriters in independent country music have recently signed to Rounder Records, and its cause for celebration for these two artists who will now hopefully receive a higher level of interest in their craft moving forward.

Since the initial release of her debut album Just Like Leaving in September of 2020, Calgary, Alberta-born singer and songwriter Bella White has been making listeners swoon with her songwriting set to a rootsy, acoustic sound. “I want people my age to hear my music and think actually bluegrass is kind of cool,” is what she says about her music, and that is what she accomplished with Just Like Leaving.

Not only has Rounder signed up to support Bella White in her future endeavors, but they will be re-releasing Just Like Leaving as part of their catalog. “I am absolutely thrilled to announce that I have signed a record deal with the dreamiest label ever,” she says. “I am just so excited to be part of the Rounder family and work with the team.”

Bella White also recently signed with William Morris for booking. This means she will have a solid team behind her moving forward with her career.

Also recently signing to Rounder Records is John R. Miller. Like Tyler Childers before he blew up into the biggest thing in independent country, John R. Miller has been appreciated on the local level for long while, and has appeared on the acclaimed Mountain Stage program in West Virginia. Originally from the tiny West Virginia town of Hedgesville in the very northeast tip of the state, John R. Miller is a songwriter whose selfless approach to music has seen him touring as a bass player in such outfits as the Hackensaw Boys, Locust Honey, William Matheny’s band, and others.

Miller also appeared on the album Long Violent History by Tyler Childers in 2020, and has received Tyler’s endorsement in the past. But now it’s time to shift the focus onto John R. Miller himself, his songs, his stories and sound, and his own band called The Engine Lights—a mix of dirty country and Appalachian string band racket that’s raw and real.

John R. Miller released an album called The Trouble You Follow in 2018 that was well-received here at Saving Country Music. Word is we might hear something about new music from Miller come the spring, with perhaps a new album to be released this summer. Stay tuned.

Both Bella White and John R. Miller are excellent examples of raw, authentic country and roots music done right that respects and honors tradition, but that can also find relevancy with young audiences and is served with fresh perspectives. The success and resonance of artists like Tyler Childers, Arlo McKinley, and the Rounder-signed Sierra Ferrell have set up the environment where these artists can rise out of obscurity and offer a healthier alternative to mainstream country for listeners young and old.

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