Lisa Mills takes her audiences on a musical, and often humorous, emotional journey with charm and panache that is melodic, raw, unfettered and, most important, searingly honest: expect blues, country, gospel and soul influences.
The confluence of influences that comprise the namesake river of Lisa Mills’ native Mississippi are indeed “mighty”. However, to lump her interpretation of those blues, country, gospel and soul influences under the catch-all “roots music” moniker is both right…and entirely wrong.
Her defiance of description is what makes Lisa Mills a singular talent. She takes the best of each these genres, whether self-penned or carefully chosen covers that speak to her in some way, and utterly transforms them. By taking all those ingredients and adding the occasional dollop of jazz inflection, Mills serves up her own savoury-sweet mix that goes beyond the expected. The result is at least equal to, often surpassing the historic best that each of those genres have to offer. She is one of those rare artists that, once you’ve heard her, cannot possibly be mistaken for anyone else.
Having completed a monumental, and universally acclaimed tour of the UK and Europe in 2016 – and as the acknowledged star of every festival and venue at which she performed – Lisa Mills is back in 2017 to give her burgeoning audiences even more of what they simply could not get enough of last year.
Mills will showcase her latest, now officially released, labour of love – and it is genuinely that – Mama’s Juke Book, a collection of classic songs collated by Mills’ best friend and biggest fan, her late mother, found in a tattered notebook years after her passing. Mills’ interpretation of these songs, many of them familiar, others destined to become so, are taken to heights that only Mills is seemingly able to reach.
Mills will also include selections from her aptly named Tempered in Fire album, and the deeply personal and introspective I’m Changing. As a bonus for 2017, the ever-evolving Mills will give first airings to some new, as yet unrecorded work destined for her next project.
And that’s one of the many beauties of her live performances. How a woman, flying solo accompanied only by her faithful archtop guitar “Evangeline” and a seldom-referenced set list can hold an audience, breathless, in her hand with barely a whisper one second, and the next erupt into a soaring crescendo that creates the illusion of a full band that only she seems able to know the limits to, is at once thrilling and mystifying. As is often overheard at her concerts, “How on earth does she do that?!”
Lisa Mills takes her audiences on a musical, and often humorous, emotional journey with charm and panache that is melodic, raw, unfettered and, most important, searingly honest. She leaves it all on the stage…and in your heart. Like the best of any performing artist of note, she draws from deeply personal aspects of her life and makes them a memorable part of yours. In short, once heard, she’s impossible to forget.
Mills now resides in Mobile, Alabama (thank you Hurricane Katrina) and draws from – but is never limited to – those influences, too. (Just listen to the seminal “Way Down South”, which alone conveys a powerful, almost overwhelming sense of time and place.)
True to the river that bears the name, Lisa Mills remains a Mighty Mississippi native with a strength of spirit that resonates through her exceptional guitar mastery and her mighty, breathtaking voice.
Lisa Mills, is mighty good.