St. Helena, Nebraska, has an authentic local talent, in the form of a self-described, American-Folk musical duo. Ted and Alice Miller primarily consider themselves Hartington natives. The couple originally met as teens and would never have guessed that their Hartington high school art classmate, would become their beloved spouse, years later. The two “got hitched” on the hottest day of the summer, at Riverside Park in Yankton, on July 7th, 2007. All their guests were squished into the chairs on the shady side, trying to shelter themselves from the blistering, 104 degree heat. The couple laugh easily together while reminiscing, and it’s easy to see that their fever for each other still hasn’t gone out. If anything, it’s only grown during their years of marriage and performing together as the Ted and Alice Miller Band.

A largely self-taught guitar player, Ted was a natural entertainer from an early age. Ted played regular gigs in small coffee shops, while attending college in Lincoln, Nebraska, and has always enjoyed expressing himself musically. Dedicated to composing and playing his original compositions in his free time, he incorporates bass, some banjo, and sometimes steel slide guitar in his music.

Alice’s journey performing in public with Ted, came after some initial reluctance and intense stage fright. Even though Alice had experience singing in swing choir during high school and occasionally did duets and trio solos, she shares, “I was always scared to death to sing in front of people. There was always this huge, huge fear. I think it’s such a very personal thing. It feels like I’m baring a part of my soul when I’m up on stage singing for people.”

Initially, the two began to sing together casually, while relaxing at home. They’d be enjoying an evening fire and having a few beers with friends. Ted would bring out his acoustic guitar and Alice would spontaneously jump in singing harmony.

They discovered they sounded great together, and this became something they enjoyed doing regularly.

The couple’s first official gig was in 2011, opening for the Rainmaker’s: a Kansas City, Missouri band, whose height of popularity was in the late 80’s early 90’s. It was at the Skyline Ballroom in Hartington, Nebraska, and the Miller’s set was forty five minutes long. They did it as a personal favor for their friend Carly and received free beer. Alice was a bit of a wild card back in their early days performing together. Ted recalls he worried about Alice before every gig. He wasn’t sure if she might “be sick or pass out prior to the show starting.” Alice always came through like a champ, gradually becoming more and more comfortable in the spot light, as long as she was alongside Ted. Now she’s come full circle and happily plays harmonica, the Cajon drum, and other percussion instruments in addition to singing harmony.

When asked if they had ever considered having a different name for their band, Alice says, “We sometimes laugh about our band name.

This all happened so organically that we didn’t really have time to think about it. When we did our first show at the Skylon, Carly made the flyers for it and just went with our names as Ted and Alice it stuck. We often laugh about this. I guess it goes back to just being who we are and not trying to be anything else.”

In 2012, after compiling an arsenal of songs that went back to his teen years,

Ted felt a strong desire to have them formally recorded for posterity. The couple took out a loan of five thousand dollars and went to have it produced at Power Base studio in Nebraska. They also hired professional studio musicians to accompany them. Ted says, “I wanted to do this one thing, if only just this one time in my life. I didn’t know if anyone would like it, but I wanted to take these eleven songs and turn them into the very best album I could.” This resulted in the first, Ted Miller Album named “Muscle, Bone, Skin and Fat”. It was important to Ted for Alice to be involved in the album, so Alice sang harmony on the album too. The couple sold CD’s of the album and were diligent about putting every cent of money made from the album, into a special music savings account. They actually made a profit, paid off the loan, and were able to save enough money to finance their second album released in 2014 which was titled, “Small Talk”. This album received acclaim as the 2015 Americana Album of the year by the Rural Roots Music Commission.

After the release of the first CD, the couple began regularly doing many performances at the Sioux Falls farmer’s markets, small bars such as Ben’s Brewery in Yankton and many other locations in the Midwest. A benefit of being a small band is the flexibility it offers in being able to play in a wide variety of locations, gig scheduling and show preparation. The couple states, “Our set up is pretty easy since it’s just the two of us. After thirty to forty-five minutes – and we’re ready to go! I guess you could say this is one of the advantages to being a duo! One thing we’ve found interesting is how different each venue can “feel” when it comes to loading in and setting up. That initial contact once we arrive can sometimes set the tone for the whole rest of the performance...we’ve had venues be very welcoming and venues that are indifferent. Let’s just say the welcoming ones set us at ease right from the start!”

A third album titled “Adult’s Don’t Speak” came along in 2016 and was awarded the 2017 Young Original CD of the year, by the Rural Roots Music Commission. Ted still enjoys writing many songs, but the two often collaborate on new material and continually inspire each other. It’s the process of working together that has made their relationship blossom, because they rely on each other so much. Every new song feels like giving birth to “a musical baby.” Three singles from their imminent newest CD have been released and can be heard on the Miller’s website. Red bird, yellow bird, Bank robber and Ohio are wonderful, early treats for the ear. The new CD titled “Homespun”, is aptly named because it was all recorded in the couple’s home studio. The Millers are very grateful for the CD’s final finishing touches done with engineering assistance. The CD tracks were sent to Studio PH and were enhanced and compiled into a perfected product by owner Christopher R. Steffen. After the wonderful experience of recording at home, the band won’t be doing it any other way in the future.

Like many people in the recent months, the band had travel plans cancelled permanently. The couple was very excited and honored, to be invited by Nebraska Exposed and the Midwest Music Foundation to play at the MidCoast Takeover in Austin TX. The MidCoast Takeover is a four day event that highlights music from the Midwest. The band would have had the opportunity to represent the Nebraska music scene. With some return to guarded normalcy, the band has recently performed at the annual Swinged Cat Ailment and Ale Festival, this past Father’s Day with other bands at the 6th Meridian Hops Farm in Yankton.

The couple is looking forward to better times and are eagerly anticipating sharing its new “Homegrown” CD. They are also looking forward to getting out and jamming for their friends, family and followers during the coming months at popular venues. Most of all, the couple are grateful for the continued community support and warm welcome of their audiences. For more information about upcoming shows please check out the Ted and Alice Miller Band Facebook page, or their website at