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I started a quest to find terrific blues music and incredible musicianship when I was just a little kid. I also have a tremendous appreciation of fine musical instruments and equipment. One of my greatest joys all of my life was sharing my finds with my friends. I'm now publishing my journey. I hope that you come along!


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Showing posts with label Lisa Mills. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Lisa Mills. Show all posts

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Provogue artist: Eric Bibb: Dear America - New Release Review

I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, Dear America, from Eric Bibb and it may be his best in years. Opening with Whole Lotta Lovin' with it's rolling acoustic guitar riff and backing instrumentation by Ron Carter on bass and Glen Scott on keys this track had a very friendly warmness. Shaneeka Simon joins Bibb and Tommy Sims on lead vocal, and teamed with Steffan Astner on slide guitar gives this track strong appeal. Slower, lumbering Whole World's Got The Blues features a nice appearance by Eric Gales who lights up his electric guitar and Sims on bass, and Glen Scott on drums fill out the bottom. A modern take on the delta style blues, title track, Dear America pairs Bibbs acoustic guitar and vocal over Chuck Anthony on electric guitar, Scott on drums and percussion, Christer Lyssarides on mandola and Simon and Big Daddy Wilson on backing vocals. Strong ballad, Emmett's Ghost plays to Bibb's strength in songwriting, vocal and acoustic guitar. With a super melody, and message, Bibb delivers one of the best tracks on the release. Another upmix blues track, Talkin' 'Bout A Train fuses traditional blues with just a light tough of modern neo soul. Harmonica wiz Billy Branch steps up and delivers over hot drum beat and some great backing vocals by Scott. Funky! Wrapping the release is One-Ness of Love with the silky vocals of Lisa Mills paired with Bibb's own warm lead vocals. Violin work by David Davidson and David Angell, Scott on piano and Sims on guitar, make this a strong closer. 


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Monday, April 20, 2020

Melody Place Music artist: Lisa Mills - The Triangle - New Release Review

I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, The Triangle, by Lisa Mills and I really like it. I feel immediately that this release will solicit comparisons to some of more known blues singers but I think that Mills has her own voice. This first set was recorded in Muscle Shoals and the opener, Little Richard's Greenwood, Mississippi is a warm R&B style rocker with plenty of spunk. Backed by Clayton Ivey on keys, Bob Wray on bass, John Willis on lead guitar, Fred Mollin on rhythm and acoustic guitars and Justin Holder on drums and with punchy horn work by Jim Hoke on sax and Steve Herman on trumpet, this is a solid opener.  Clarence Carter's, Tell Mama has the spunk you'd expect from James or Joplin but her vocals are in a groove and with the unmistakable horn work of the south, the cool guitar solo by Willis and key solo by Ivey, it's all south! Very nice. Moving on to Memphis for the next set the tracks get a little more funky with That's What Love Will Make You Do. Michael Toles on lead guitar lays down a cool solo line and with Lester Snell on keys, Leroy Hodges on bass, Steve Potts on Drums and Rev Charles Hodges on B3. A new town and a definite different spin puts you right on the middle of that soul sound. Very nice. Another great track from this set is Otis Redding's, sweat soaked, That's How Strong My Love Is. Sounding like it's right off of a 45 in 1968, this one is smooth. On to Jackson, Mississippi, and Denise LaSalle's Someone Else Is Steppin' In. Buddy Guy has almost adopted this as his trademark track and Mills' voice is really made for it. In the audiophile business, they say a speaker loves a voice, her voice loves this track. It really does show off the richness of her voice and a ripped sax solo by Hoke is a perfect topping. This set features Sam Brady on keys, Mike Thorn on bass, Brennan White on lead guitar, Mollin on rhythm guitar, and George Lawrence on drums. One of my favorite tracks on the release is Travel On. There's just something about certain tracks and how they make you feel and this one has it! Excellent! Wrapping the release is Just Walking In The Rain, a simple, soulful ballad.. Mills and Michael Toles on guitar. This is a real nice cool down track for what is an exceptional soul release. 

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Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Bluz Records Label artist: Lisa Mills - I'm Changing - New Release Review

I just received the newest release (October 21, 2014), I'm Changing, from Lisa Mills and it's stunning! Opening with Better Than This/ I Don't Need You Anymore, Mills opens up a quiet bluesy ballad. Her easy pace and confidence is quite becoming. Rick Hirsch lays in a really nice guitar solo joining Ian Jennings on bass and Jimmy Roebuck on drums. I Don't Want To Be Happy is a simple ballad with Mills accompanied by Jennings on bass, John Milham on drums and Corky Hughes on guitar. Mills really has a colorful voice and it is nicely on display here. I Need A Little Sunshine has a nice gospel like feel, with a twist of country and a pinch of island. Britt Meacham adds some nice soft melodic chorded soloing. Nice! Title track, I'm Changing, is a very solid ballad and beautifully written and executed track. Pat Murphy overlays a soft fiddle solo over Mills own accompaniment on acoustic guitar. Very nice! Eyes So Blue has cool island feel and Mills voice melds nicely into the rhythm. This is one of the strongest tracks on the release with definite radio potential. Shake It has a real nice 40's nightclub sound and although Mills holds her basic form her styling on this track is particularly nice. Hughes adds some nice slide work and Hirsch some cool baritone guitar riffs. Tell Me is Mills alone on vocal. This track, more than any other shows the confidence and warmth of Mills voice. A solid gospel like track, my favorite track on the release. Excellent! A classic, I Wish I Was In Heaven Sitting Down features a real nice bluesy take on the traditional track with Hughes on bottleneck slide resonator. Opening with a traditional delta styling and then moving to a more soulful feel. Another excellent track! Rain In The Summertime is a pure ballad which actually reminds me quite a bit of Joni Mitchell. Clean and pure. Take My Troubles has an easy R&B/reggae feel with an easy rhythm pace and clean soloing by Meacham. Another very nice track. The Truth has a bit of a European feel in construction but with almost civil war like drumming by TK Lively, the addition of banjo by Murphy and some obtuse guitar work by Hughes, the most experimental track on the release. Wrapping the release is Jimi Hendrix's classic Little Wing. Hughes plays a haunting slide guitar part below the easy vocal treatment by Mills. One of the coolest tracks to come out of the 60's era, this is a super interpretation of it with clever exchange between acoustic guitar and supersonic slide work as a compliment to Mills vocals. This is a particularly unusual release for my review and one that I quite enjoyed.

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Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Alabama Singer Lisa Mills Says "I'm Changing" on New CD Coming Oct. 21 from Her MillsBluz Record Label



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


Monday, November 7, 2011

New Release - Tempered In Fire - Lisa Mills - Review


With a US release date of October 18, 2011 this may already be on the street. I just received a copy of the new Lisa Mills recording Tempered In Fire. If you don't know Lisa she is a Mississippi born vocalist moved to Glastonbury and now residing back in Mobile, Alabama. You can definitely hear the UK influence on her southern roots. This cd has some really strong tunes executed very well by Lisa. The overall tone of the cd is a crossover between the R&B, Blues and country. She has done particularly well renditions of Wet Willie's "Keep on Smilin' and Otis Redding's "These Arms of Mine" as well as a few tunes by others and originals as well.

Enjoy!
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