Friday, July 26, 2013
“One of the most unique things about the Newport Folk Festival is its uncanny ability to showcase talented musicians most festivalgoers will hear for the first time. The selection of Blake Mills, a guitar virtuoso from Venice, California perpetuates this tradition.
Being considered a guitar virtuoso by one’s peer group is an impressive enough accomplishment for any musician, especially when you are only 26 years old. Mills picked up his first electric guitar when he was 10 years old and at 14 his band opened for Lynyrd Skynyrd in Anaheim. He went on to co-found Simon Dawes with his childhood friend, and Newport Folk Festival alumnus, Taylor Goldsmith. Since leaving Simon Dawes in 2007, Mills has expanded his career as a solo artist, session player, composer, and producer.
Mills is currently one of the most sought-after session and touring guitarists in the business. He has worked with Andrew Bird, Rick Rubin, Danger Mouse, Billy Gibbons, Jackson Browne, Julian Casablancas, Lucinda Williams, Fiona Apple, Band of Horses, and Cass McCombs, to name a few. Eric Clapton also handpicked him to play his Crossroads Guitar Festival in Madison Square Garden next month where he will be playing alongside legends Buddy Guy, Jeff Beck, Robbie Robertson, Taj Mahal, Clapton, and others.
In addition to being a phenomenal guitarist, Mills is a talented songwriter with a voice that’s often been compared to the late Elliot Smith. I fell in love with his music back in 2010 when I first heard “Wintersong” from his critically acclaimed debut album, Break Mirrors. The song eases in with a breezy Southern California vibe, and then at the 2:00 mark Mills and backing vocalist Jesca Hoop break into an up-tempo duet that’s reminiscent of Buckingham and Nicks from Rumours-era Fleetwood Mac.
Mills is an excellent addition to this year’s Newport Folk Festival lineup and I wouldn’t be surprised if he ends up joining other acts on stage throughout the festival.”
– Carter Smith
Artists and schedule are subject to change.