Gene and Gayla Mills
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Gene and Gayla Mills

Richmond, Virginia, United States | SELF

Richmond, Virginia, United States | SELF
Band Americana Folk

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Feb
16
Gene and Gayla Mills @ Ashland Coffee and Tea

Ashland, Virginia, USA

Ashland, Virginia, USA

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Take the cornerstones of acoustic Americana, add a touch of bluegrass, country and folk, mix together with dedication, superb musicianship and then add precise harmonies. Do that and you forge the inspiring album ‘If Stones Could Talk’ by Gene and Gayla Mills. For those that love fables of experience, tragedy, love and endeavour both happy and sad plus the indefinable human essence that comes in spades with Americana this is an album you must have.
The strength of this album lies in its perceptive individual stories. The raw emotion of songs like ‘River, Railway and Road’ with its mournful, almost desperate longing for reunion, the simple honesty of love recounted in ‘Everyday Things’ and the heart-wrenching poignancy of ‘Forgetting’. If these songs don’t move you then your soul is made of stone. The rich warmth in Gene’s voice and Gayla’s tender tones blend to pull you into these songs and ensure each message stays with you long after the last note fades.
The spritely ‘Milk and Honey’ is straight-up bluegrass that hankers after a simple life that got away. With its hope for the future, no matter when it arrives, the words of ‘Better Late Than Never’ tell a different story – with great banjo, fiddle and mandolin combinations. There’s the subtle humour of ‘Thriving’ reflecting an easily identifiable, slightly acerbic view on life and the choices of destiny held in ‘Great Divide’. Add two inspired instrumentals – the jubilation of ‘Bright Blue Eyes’ and the gentle closeness of ‘Dying Fire’ and you have a flawless serving of Americana.
As pure as a precious spirit the blend on ‘If Stones Could Talk’ is distilled to perfection by Gene Mills (guitar, vocals) Gayla Mills (bass, vocals) Bill Evans (banjo) Ivan Rosenberg (dobro) Barry Lawson (mandolin) and Jim Skelding (fiddle).
- Folkwords


Take the cornerstones of acoustic Americana, add a touch of bluegrass, country and folk, mix together with dedication, superb musicianship and then add precise harmonies. Do that and you forge the inspiring album ‘If Stones Could Talk’ by Gene and Gayla Mills. For those that love fables of experience, tragedy, love and endeavour both happy and sad plus the indefinable human essence that comes in spades with Americana this is an album you must have.
The strength of this album lies in its perceptive individual stories. The raw emotion of songs like ‘River, Railway and Road’ with its mournful, almost desperate longing for reunion, the simple honesty of love recounted in ‘Everyday Things’ and the heart-wrenching poignancy of ‘Forgetting’. If these songs don’t move you then your soul is made of stone. The rich warmth in Gene’s voice and Gayla’s tender tones blend to pull you into these songs and ensure each message stays with you long after the last note fades.
The spritely ‘Milk and Honey’ is straight-up bluegrass that hankers after a simple life that got away. With its hope for the future, no matter when it arrives, the words of ‘Better Late Than Never’ tell a different story – with great banjo, fiddle and mandolin combinations. There’s the subtle humour of ‘Thriving’ reflecting an easily identifiable, slightly acerbic view on life and the choices of destiny held in ‘Great Divide’. Add two inspired instrumentals – the jubilation of ‘Bright Blue Eyes’ and the gentle closeness of ‘Dying Fire’ and you have a flawless serving of Americana.
As pure as a precious spirit the blend on ‘If Stones Could Talk’ is distilled to perfection by Gene Mills (guitar, vocals) Gayla Mills (bass, vocals) Bill Evans (banjo) Ivan Rosenberg (dobro) Barry Lawson (mandolin) and Jim Skelding (fiddle).
- Folkwords


When the record business first fell apart, there was a mental adjustment that had to take place. Certainly not everything established labels put out was great, but the chances of something great coming out of somebody’s basement were even less. So, as things were falling apart, when you got something from somebody’s basement that was great, you had to take your pulse and determine if your ears were getting tired and jaded. I guess this record signals the adjustment has been completed. This singer/songwriter/folk/Americana set is great. And it’s from this duo’s basement. Already a well decorated member of the back porch brigade, Mills has a fully formed sound in his head that he knows how to communicate in such fine style that you’ll be scratching your head about why this is micro indie. Some of the best organic music you could hope to come across from all components and angles. Killer stuff. - Midwest Record


When the record business first fell apart, there was a mental adjustment that had to take place. Certainly not everything established labels put out was great, but the chances of something great coming out of somebody’s basement were even less. So, as things were falling apart, when you got something from somebody’s basement that was great, you had to take your pulse and determine if your ears were getting tired and jaded. I guess this record signals the adjustment has been completed. This singer/songwriter/folk/Americana set is great. And it’s from this duo’s basement. Already a well decorated member of the back porch brigade, Mills has a fully formed sound in his head that he knows how to communicate in such fine style that you’ll be scratching your head about why this is micro indie. Some of the best organic music you could hope to come across from all components and angles. Killer stuff. - Midwest Record


Discography

LP: If Stones Could Talk (July 2011). # 5 on the Roots Music Folk Chart, Dec 2011, and #11 on the Folk DJ Chart, August 2011. On Pandora and Jango.

LP: Waiting For Rain (2008). Played on WCVE, WTJU, WVTF, WRIR, WGET, the Folk Sampler, and Car Talk. Has won 1st place song writing awards. On Jango.

Photos

Bio

Gene and Gayla Mills play acoustic Americana—modern folk tinged with bluegrass and country, featuring Gene’s award-winning original songs. They offer “some of the best organic music you could hope to come across—killer stuff” (Chris Specter, Midwest Record).

Their CD "If Stones Could Talk” reached #5 on the Roots Music Folk Chart and #11 on the Folk DJ chart.

Gene’s songs tell rich stories, many based on real people from Virginia--miners, farmers, lovers, and soldiers. His first CD Waiting for Rain garnered nationwide airplay, and he has won over a dozen country and folk songwriting awards. Gene is also an accomplished flatpicking guitarist. From melancholy to sweet, his songs are “for those who love fables of experience, tragedy, love and endeavor.” (Tim Carroll, Folkwords)

Gayla’s bass playing, solid, rhythmic, and melodic, is accompanied by tender harmonies. She is also the driving force behind the recording and promotion of Gene’s songs, which he first began writing and performing in the late 1970s.

Married over 25 years, Gene and Gayla have been playing as a duo since 2004. “The dynamic between the both of them is just beautiful. It’s a sweet thing to watch.” (Karen Atkinson, WHAN radio). They are often joined by Barry Lawson on mandolin, who also plays with the Honey Dewdrops.

“Take the cornerstones of acoustic Americana, add a touch of bluegrass, country and folk, mix together with dedication, superb musicianship and then add precise harmonies. If these songs don’t move you, then your soul is made of stone.”
(Tim Carroll, folkwords.com)

Gene and Gayla have played at the Oak Grove Festival, the Crozet Music Festival, the Richmond Irish Festival, the Nashville Songwriter’s Festival, and the Fredericksburg Songwriters’ Showcase. They’ve also opened for the Honey Dewdrops and for Bill Evans and Megan Lynch.

Their influences include Townes Van Zandt, Claire Lynch, Crooked Still, Alison Kraus, Nickel Creek, Si Kahn, and Robin and Linda Williams.

On their latest CD, they are joined by Bill Evans (banjo), Ivan Rosenberg (dobro), Jim Skelding (fiddle), and Barry Lawson (mandolin.) Talking to a Stone, which has already won two first place songwriting awards, reached #9 on the Folk DJ Chart.