LANCASTER, Kentucky — Alex Miller’s summer plans include a night onstage in Wise County.
Miller, who stood out in “America Idol” until March, opens for Grammy winners Shenandoah at the Wise County Fairgrounds Main Stage on Saturday night for the fair’s traditional closing night blowout.
With a full slate of concerts this summer, stopping short of peak “American Idol” honors has not been a bad thing for the 18-year-old Kentucky native. “Idol” judge Luke Bryan thought enough of his performances to invite him to play at the Grand Old Opry.
Miller has been tapped to open for Hank Williams Jr. at the Wisconsin State Fair and for Josh Turner at the Kentucky State Fair in August. The song that got him on “American Idol” — “I’m Over You so Get Over Me” — is getting released as his debut single.
Details of Bryan’s invitation for him to play at the Opry are in the works, Miller said.
And he’s finished with high school, having graduated this month.
“We’re working up a roadhouse-style band for touring this summer,” Miller said, “and while I don’t want to give away everything, audiences can expect anything from a ballad to true honky tonk. If they love good country music, I’m going to try and give it to them.”
Miller is quick to poke fun at himself, especially his height. When talking about his musical influences and asked about Elvis, he said, “When Elvis was drafted, the Army made him a tank driver. If I was in the Army, they’d make me a telephone pole.”
Referring to his upcoming appearance with Hank Jr., Miller said the song he wished he had written was Hank Williams’ “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry.” He also cites a range of influences on his own music, ranging from Merle Haggard and George Strait to Frank Sinatra.
“I just like music,” Miller said. “Whether it’s Haggard or Sinatra, it’s about the music.”
Miller said he is grateful to “Idol” for the chance it gave him to get noticed and on the road.
“Six months ago I could barely find a place to play and now I’m all over,” Miller said. “I want to thank the VA-KY District Fair folks for giving me a chance to perform.”