Alabama Singer Lisa Mills Says I’m Changing on New CD Coming Oct. 21 from Her MillsBluz Record Label
MOBILE, AL – Blues, roots and gospel singer Lisa Mills announces an October 21 release date for her new CD, I’m Changing, on her MillsBluz record label, distributed nationally by Burnside Distribution. I’m Changing was recorded primarily at Back Door studios in Mobile and was produced by Lisa Mills and Ian Jennings. The album showcases Mills backed by an impressive cast of musicians including guitarist Rick Hirsch and drummer T. K. Lively of Wet Willie fame, as well as guitarist Corky Hughes (Bo Diddley, Black Oak Arkansas). Bassist Ian Jennings has a host of world-class recording credentials, including work on albums with Jeff Beck (Crazy Legs), several albums with Van Morrison and Tom Jones, plus appearances with Robert Plant and Jimmy Page. Ian was also named Britain's best bassist last year by one of the UK’s top blues magazines.
Lisa Mills is a Mississippi native who currently lives in Mobile, Alabama. Her last CD, Tempered in Fire, was released in 2010 and won her universal acclaim for its rootsy mix of blues, country and gospel sounds powered by her incredibly soulful voice. UK writer Grahame Rhodes described her as “a full-throated female Otis Redding, with some Muscle Shoals soul and Nashville country touches for good measure.” Another reviewer praised her “unique vocal ability to make one feel the good times and bad times in every song,” comparing her to Lucinda Williams.
As its title implies, I’m Changing is actually a re-constructed new version of tracks Lisa originally recorded and released in 2005, with the added benefit of the more pure expression of her artistic desires and abilities. Perhaps most importantly, Lisa was able to put the new project in the hands of groundbreaking producer Trina Shoemaker, the first woman to win the Grammy Award for album engineering, having worked her magic on sessions with Sheryl Crow, Steven Curtis Chapman, the Dixie Chicks and Indigo Girls. Under Shoemaker’s mixing mojo, I’m Changing became an entirely new animal from its predecessor, and the results are explosive.
The even-dozen tracks on the new CD include 10 originals, plus scintillating covers of the Rev. Robert Wilkins’ “Wish I was in Heaven (Sittin’ Down)” and the Jimi Hendrix classic, ”Little Wing,” which undergoes an amazing transformation courtesy of Mills’ soulful vocal attack.
“There are two fully re-recorded tracks on the album,” says Lisa: ‘Take My Troubles and Tell Me’ and three new songs: ‘Rain in the Summertime,’ ‘I Don't Want to be Happy’ and ‘Eyes So Blue.’ All of these tracks are original songs.”
She also admits that during the original 2005 sessions of I'm Changing, she was having a terrible time with her voice and thought she’d have to re-record just about everything for the new release. “But once Trina got started on the mixing,” she adds, “it became apparent that the vocals were actually really good and so the only thing I re-sang was one phrase in ‘Little Wing’ and the two tracks I had recorded in Los Angeles – ‘Tell Me’ and ‘Take My Troubles.’ These were recorded entirely in the original Mobile, Alabama studio. Also, I went back and used an original vocal done in Mobile instead of a take I tracked in L.A.”
Lisa’s Gulf Coast background brings a hotbed of Southern musical influences that have informed her sound from the get-go. She often sings the blues – but to call her a blues singer would be to limit her potential audience reach. “I tend to think of myself more as a bit of a blue-eyed-soul singer armed with a guitar,” says Mills. “If anything, I would refer to what I do as American Southern roots music.” And that includes straight-up gospel, as she does in daringly a cappella fashion on “Tell Me.”
Prior to going her own way, Lisa toured with Big Brother & The Holding Company, singing the songs of one of rock’s most revered vocalists, and her understanding of Janis Joplin’s gifts is far more insightful than the superficial norm. One listen to the fragile balance of vulnerability and indomitability she brings to “Better Than This” will bear this out.
Lisa Mills will tour both in the U.S and in Europe to support I’m Changing.