Lisa Mills review 11-13-11

LISA MILLS

TEMPERED IN FIRE

BURNSIDE DISTRIBUTION

TENNESSEE TEARS–KEEP ON SMILING–BLUE GUITARS OF TEXAS–I’LL NEVER FALL IN LOVE AGAIN–TEMPERED IN FIRE–WHY DO I STILL LOVE YOU–MY HAPPY SONG–THESE ARMS OF MINE–COUNTRYSIDE OF LIFE–SOMEONE VERY CLOSE

 

 

Altho she was born in south Mississippi and now lives in Mobile Bay, AL, outstanding vocalist Lisa Mills has some strong musical ties across the pond in the UK.  Her overseas festival appearances have given her the opportunity to play with some of Britain’s best, who return the favor on her latest release, “Tempered In Fire.”  These ten cuts find her mixing in originals with songs associated with southern rockers and soul men, as well as her friends from England.  Joining Lisa are Ian Jennings on double bass, Eric Heigle on drums, and Andy Fairweather Low on guitar (remember “Spider Jiving” from 1973?)

 

 

Lisa’s strong voice has fantastic range and she reaches out and grabs you with it, using it to spin tales of life, love, loneliness, and redemption.  Brush-stroked drums and understated guitar lines fuel the torchy title cut, with its lyrics of “3 AM and I’m sitting alone in a bar, wondering where you are.”  “Why Do I Still Love you?” has elements of Lisa’s upbringing in gospel music, as her inability to let go of a no-good lover builds to a “testifyin’ climax.  The set closes with a classic tale of a true lover that becomes the victim of a vicious ‘he said, she said” pack of lies from “Someone Very Close.’

 

We had two favorites, too.  Lisa’s fed up with cheatin’ lovers, and vows “I’ll Never Fall In Love Again” with a clever rhumba beat.  And, Lisa smokes the Hall brothers’  immortal “Keep On Smiling,”  presented herein with a cool, Stax-goes-reggae arrangement.

 

With her unique vocal ability to make one feel the good times and bad times in every song, Lisa Mills may elicit comparisons to Lucinda Williams or Delbert.  With “Tempered In Fire,” she has the chops to achieve breakout success!  Until next time….Sheryl and Don Crow, Nashville Blues Society.

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