NOW IT'S MILLER TIME

JODY "QUEEN OF THE HOUSE" MILLER IS BACK JTO RECLAIM HER CROWN

Miller performs Friday and Saturday nights, plus an all-gospel Sunday matinee. The two-hour evening shows feature the Cactus Rose house band, an excellent eight-piece ensemble, a pair of singers, and corny jokes. And Miller is up-front about her motives and goals: She sincerely wants Cactus Rose to succeed, not only because of its good, wholesome intentions, but because she needs the bread.

"I want to be a gospel singer," she says flatly. "I gotta make some money so I can promote my ministry."

Yet the bulk of the tunes she sings in the Cactus Rose show are secular, and her eight-song set one Thursday evening included her hits. Miller also returns later in the show for a full-throttle delivery of a patriotic tune or two. She's heard criticisms regarding her performing non-Christian songs, but dismisses them with a cheerful wave.

"Oh, I've heard them all--you, know: 'You can't be involved with horseracing and be a Christian.' I tell them, we're on the back side, making them run fast and look pretty. We're not hanging around the betting windows all day. And, 'You can't dance like you do on the show.' Well, I've found peace with the Lord, and I'm a different person than I used to be. Before, I liked to drink a little bit, carouse about and dance and stuff. I still dance--a happy dance, an I'm-not-sinning dance.

"And I'll tell you this, too. You can be a Christian and a Democrat."
For the time being, Miller plans to be around through Christmas. Her most fervent wish is for Christians--and the rest of y'all, too--to see what she's up to and, especially, come see her Sunday hallelujah show. Those who enjoy the music but who don't have a hankering to be preached at will appreciate Miller's sweet and relatively low-key delivery of the Lord's word.

"I'm a Christian, and Christians talk about Christ, but I don't believe it's necessary to get in somebody's face about it, you know? And I'll tell you something else: It may sound like bragging, but my voice has never been better, and I'd like nothing better than for folks to come hear it for themselves.

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