Mia Vermillion
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Mia Vermillion

Seattle, Washington, United States | INDIE

Seattle, Washington, United States | INDIE
Band Blues




"Mia Vermillion: Alone Together With The Blues"

"Vermillion sings better than many of her more widely known contemporaries…" - Downbeat Magazine - Jan. 2011, by Frank-John Hadley

"CD Review - Alone Together With the Blues"

"If you like the music of Patsy Cline or K D Lang or Norah Jones you need to check out this CD."

Full Review:

If you like the music of Patsy Cline or K D Lang or Norah Jones you need to check out this cd. Mia Vermillion's cd "Alone Together With The Blues" features two terrific talents--the vocals by Mia, and the guitars by Orville Johnson. They both come out of the Seattle, Washington area, and from the liner notes it appears that most of this disc was recorded in one or the other's living rooms. The combination of Mia and Orville is quite magical. It's not a loud or rushed presentation. It's a fine acoustic music cd, rounded out with a gentle and perfectly swinging rhythm section by Chuck Deardorf and Ben Smith. The tempos are relaxed, the vocal is front and center--and the guitar is sweet and grooving. The resulting music is tasteful and richly rewarding. Vermillion writes only two of the songs here, but they fit the overall vibe very well--and one of them, "Love's Lost And Found," might be the best track on the disc. The covers are well-chosen: a terrific take on Lil Green's "In The Dark," Leroy Carr's "In The Evening," Big Bill Broonzy's "When I Have Been Drinkin'" and a really well-done take of "I'm Going To Copyright Your Kisses," Mary Lou Williams' "Walkin.'" The cd's last track is another winner--the Lew Pollack/Paul Francis Weber classic "Two Cigarettes In The Dark" with a wonderful guest turn by Hans Teuber on clarinet that wraps up the song and the cd just beautifully. This one may not appeal to the folks who love loud guitar pyrotechnics, but in its quiet and winning way this is a really good cd. - The Sunday Night Blues Project - July 2009

"CD Review - The Metro Spirit - Augusta, Georgia"

" Built on a powerful vocal and a stunning slide guitar accompaniment, Vermillion offers a stunning debut..."
- The Metro Spirit, August 5, 2009 By J. Edward Sumerau

"CD Review - Alone Together With the Blues"

"...Mia Vermillion stands as one of the most talented [blues/jazz artist], with her silky sensuous vocals."

Full Review:

Over the past few years, there seems to be more and more artists, particularly women, tackling classic jazz and blues styles. Not that I’m complaining, mind you, because that was a great era of music that’s too often ignored today. It’s refreshing to see that there is still some interest in the genre. Singer Mia Vermillion, from Washington State, stands as one of the most talented, with her silky sensuous vocals. Her new disc, Alone Together With the Blues (Hip Chick Music), finds Vermillion teaming up with slide guitar legend Orville Johnson on a nine-song set of classic jazz and blues standards, plus two originals by Vermillion that stand up well with the standards.

The disc has a relaxed and sophisticated feel, and Vermillion’s beautiful vocals are perfectly complimented by Johnson’s exquisite work on guitar, dobro, and mandolin. The cover tunes include Lil Green’s “In The Dark,” Leroy Carr’s “In The Evening,” a pair of Big Bill Broonzy tunes (“When I’ve Been Drinking” and “I’m Going To Copyright Your Kisses”), Cecil Gant’s “I Wonder,” Mary Lou Williams’ “Walkin’,” and Bing Crosby’s “Two Cigarettes In The Dark.” Vermillion’s interpretations of these standards give the songs new life and Johnson’s shimmering slide guitar work is magnificent. Vermillion’s two original songs are the gently swinging “Little Bit of Love” and the moody “Love’s Lost and Found.”

The superb backing band includes Chuck Deardourf (bass), Ben Smith (drums), Mark Ivester (drums, percussion), Garey Shelton (bass), Cary Black (bass), and Hans Teuber (clarinet). Vermillion produced the disc, with assistance from Tom Kellock on a couple of tracks. Alone Together With the Blues is a splendid set of early jazz and blues by one of the best vocalists I’ve heard in a while.

--- Graham Clarke

- Blues Bytes Magazine, May 2009 by Graham Clarke

"Waterfront Blues Festival 2011: Sunday 12pm – Mia Vermillion"

"If you’re a fan of Heart or Rickie Lee Jones, MIA VERMILLION should be added to your list…”

Full Review
Mia Vermillion has re-emerged on the music scene after a brief break, appearing on multiple Seattle stages. If you’re a fan of Heart or Rickie Lee Jones, Vermillion should be added to your list of want-to-see next time you’re visiting the Emerald City. This Sunday morning sees her opening the Safeway Blues Festival here in Portland with her band; Jason Edwards on drums, Jon Bayless on bass and Rod Cook on guitar.

Vermillion is honest about her performance. Although she obviously has her influences, her performance is her own. She’s not flashy, nor does she need to be – her music stands on its own strengths, rather than some affected persona. She’s learned to use her voice, emphasizing its strengths and choosing songs that work well for her range.

At times, festival stage opening acts are there to warm up the sound system rather than a serious attempt at pulling a crowd. “Serious” musicians don’t get up until late-afternoon – or so the street talk would say. Vermillion may not have the following of Lucinda Williams, but she is certainly more talented than many of the warm-up acts that get tossed into this early spot. She’s rehearsed the band, she’s writing original songs, and she’s paying attention to the music. Budding vocalists would do well to follow her lead.

OMN is proud to be a media sponsor of the 2011 Safeway Waterfront Blues Festival and to help support the Oregon Food Bank. - Oregon Music News - by Mark Niemann-Ross on July 3, 2011

"All About Jazz - CD Review"

“Vermillion is a fresh and welcome arrival on the blues (and jazz) scene…she infuses her singing with more humidity than Ma Rainey and more sex than Lena Horn...”

Full Review:

Mia Vermillion has a big vocal presence. She sings with the wild abandon of Janis Joplin controlled by the fluid precision of Bonnie Bramlett, the gusto of Big Mama Thornton, and the blues foundation of Bessie Smith. She infuses her singing with more humidity than Ma Rainey and more sex than Lena Horn.

Tacitly a blues singer, Vermillion's repertoire on Alone Together with the Blues is more diverse than the straight 12-bar variety. Joined by master slide guitarist Orville Johnson, Vermillion weaves a tapestry of folk music that extrapolates the similar attempts of Cassandra Wilson to their logical pinnacle. Johnson provides an earthy, organic bottom to this collection of nine songs with his dobro, guitar, and mandolin, directly impacting Vermillion's approach to the songs.

On Lil Green's "In the Dark," Johnson flat-picks the guitar while Vermillion expounds on pheromones with the lights out. Vermillon's original, "Love's Lost and Found," couples Johnson on electric rhythm and dobro, supporting a languid Vermillion singing, "Come on boys, I'm one of those girls everybody knows, where my dreams are like paper, boy how I'm shuffled around..."

The recording turns on two obscure classic blues, Leroy Carr's "In The Evening," and "When I've Been Drinkin'" by Big Bill Broonzy. "In The Evening" was a staple of the Carr-Blackwell songbook in the 1930s, and 80 years later, Johnson and Vermillion freshen it up to the point it can be compared to its cousin composition, "St. Louis Blues." "When I've Been Drinkin'" hosts Johnson's best dobro playing of the disc as Vermillion, subdued, sings with the reticence of the inebriated.

Vermillion is a fresh and welcome arrival on the blues (and jazz) scene. The full depth of her talent has yet to be seen.

-- C. Michael Bailey

July 27, 2009
AllAboutJazz.com - AllAboutJazz.com - July 27, 2009, by C. Michael Bailey

"CD Review - Alone Together With the Blues"

"...astronomical first release for this artist. Don't put this lady as an opening act, she deserves top billing..."

Full Review:
I've had the fortune of making friends all over with the blues. One of the perks of having friends from all around, I get introduced to artists that I otherwise probably wouldn't get to hear. Witness the upper Northwest. For the past decade and a half, Oregon, Washington, and Idaho have brought the world some uncanny blues talent in a land far removed from the Delta of Mississippi or the soul of Memphis. Tim "Too Slim" Langford and John Nemeth are the first two names that immediately pop into mind. Oregon is the host of the nation's largest roots music distributor, Burnside Distribution. Now, we have one more addition to this line up of phenomenal finds from the lands of the forests and rainy weather of the Northwest: Mia Vermillion. Mia has been touring and working non-stop in the region for a while now, distributing her mixture of earthy jazz, blues, with a little dose of 50s & 60s country & western roots (think countrypolitan Patsy Cline or Jim Reeves styled vibes). Vermillion's silky alto is something so seductive and smooth that you can almost feel yourself being seduced through the speakers - and you'll give in, let me tell you!

This is Vermillion's debut release. She enlists some pretty good talent to play host to her genre-mixing release. Edwardsville, Illinois (hey, that's not too far from this Juke Joint Soul's birthplace) native and roots dobro & slide player Orville Johnson takes the helm as the tasty echo to Vermillions sensuous vocals. Johnson is a sought-after player in the Northwest, and has been for awhile. His touches on the lonesome-sounding dobro add to the vibe of the country & western meets blues meets jazz sounds. Grammy-nominated bassist Garey Shelton joins for one track and acclaimed gold record writer/producer Tom Kellock produces on two tracks.
Vermillion writes two of the nine tracks. The rest of the music are superbly selected cover songs from the likes of LeRoy Carr, Big Bill Broonzy, Lil Green, and a song classically recorded by Aretha Franklin. This song is a great rainy day weather album. It's lonesome, earthy, sensual, and makes you wanna snuggle up next to a loved one and just completely chill out. Vermillion completely takes me away on the original "Love's Lost and Found." This one is just as smooth as a fine wine and gave me the smiling goose-pimples. Don't be fooled though, Vermillion can turn up the sass, too. The two Big Bill Broonzy covers "When I've Been Drinkin'" and "I'm Gonna Copyright Your Kisses" are swingin' little numbers that best highlight Vermillion's flare for jazzy-blues arrangements. Johnson keeps it earthy like Big Bill would've with his nasally licks on the dobro to fill in the spaces.

Vermillion turns the classic "I Wonder" into a contemporary pop-jazz performance that is not overdone nor understated. The arrangement and Vermillion's smooth croon is very reminiscent of the late songbird Eva Cassidy. It's a beautiful, delicate treatment of a song that has been terribly overdone in the past. "Two Cigarettes In the Dark" is a little not my style, but the clarinet laced piece (played by Hans Treuber) adds to the already rainy day mood jazz that Vermillion seemingly has a penchant for. Vermillion can reach upper registers effortlessly in this almost 20's jazz piece and Johnson demonstrates a mastery on guitar with some smooth licks of his own.
This album is a well-thought, well-planned, economical, and astronomical first release for this artist. She will definitely catch attention, if sent to the right places, on many AAA radio formats and can easily fit on both blues, jazz, and quiet storm programs. She's got a magnificent voice that is on par with any ladies I've heard today. Don't put this lady as an opening act, she deserves top billing and if her stage presence is any bit like her recordings, she bound to shoot straight into crossover territory. Her many-faceted approach will win you over and this is one album that's definitely worth repeating - especially after a long day at work or a rainy day with a lover or if you just want to be alone together with the blues.

- Ben Cox
May 2009 - Blues Blast Internet Magazine, May 7, 2009 - by Ben Cox

"Music builds a network for hope and shelter"

http://www.goskagit.com/home/article/music_builds_a_network_for_hope_and_shelter/ - Skagit Valley Herald

"World of Blues"

“This woman could melt the polar ice caps if we don’t watch out. Such an incredible smooth sound.” - April 2009 - WorldofBlues.com - Blues blog out of Ottawa, Canada

"Nobody Leaves Without Singin' The Blues: Mia Vermillion"

“Takes a special person to sing the blues, I think. Ms. Vermillion is one of those. Powerful, plaintive, sensual."

Full Review:

Sometimes, a disc goes into the player – and comes right back out again; but sometimes, I say, “Oh, my.”

This was one of those. An “Oh, my” disc.

Washington (state) singer and songwriter Mia Vermillion teams with noted slide guitarist Orville Johnson on this disc, a sassy set, with lines like, “I’m gonna copyright your kisses | because they all belong to me.”

Takes a special person to sing the blues, I think. Ms. Vermillion is one of those. Powerful, plaintive, sensual. Lil Green’s “(Romance) In the Dark” is my favorite from the disc. Ms. Vermillion successfully channels the essence of this one, written in 1940.

I tried to mentally take Mr. Johnson’s contributions on guitar out of the mix. Bad idea. He’s not just on guitar, but also dobro, mandolin, and washboard – and he’s an integral part of the disc. Chuck Deardorf on bass, and Ben Smith on Drums round out the core group.

“My songs and song choices come from my personal knowledge and life’s experiences,” Mia Vermillion says. “…the inner and outer workings of relationships, the joy of music and life, and the huge satisfaction of recognizing and providing feminine value and perspective in it all”. Blah, blah, blah. Nice things to say for publicity. What it needs to say is that this woman flat-out nails it. “Alone Together With The Blues” is a delicious romp, and is very highly recommended.

-- Doug Boynton

July 26, 2009
Girlsingers.org - Girlsingers, July 26, 2009 by Doug Boynton


"Alone Together With the Blues"

Mia Vermillion released her self-produced, debut album "Alone Together With the Blues" in June 2009. The record gained national attention making the Roots Music Report blues radio chart top 50 for two weeks at #45 and #46, as well as reaching #2 on XM Radio B.B. King's Bluesville's 'Picks to Click' with her recording of "I'm Going to Copyright Your Kisses."

The album highlights a well-matched styling between Mia's vocal sway and Orville Johnson's emotive acoustic guitar and dobro mastery. Beautifully recorded, it contains a well-founded collection of tunes from early blues artists and includes two of Mia's own compositions: "Little Bit of Love" and "Love's Lost and Found."

"Alone Together With the Blues" was recorded at Garey Shelton Productions in Seattle, WA. Core artists for the record include bassist Chuck Deardorf, and percussionists Ben Smith and Mark Ivester. Other contributing artists are Hans Teuber, Garey Shelton and Cary Black. Mia arranged and produced the record except for "Little Bit of Love" and "In The Dark" co-produced with Tom Kellock, and "Two Cigarettes In The Dark" co-arranged with Garey Shelton.



As an outstanding new artist, Mia Vermillion’s presence on the blues scene is on the rise and rapidly garnering the attention of both fans and critics. Mia recently tore up the main stage at the Safeway Waterfront Blues Festival in Portland, Oregon playing ahead of Patrick Lamb, Curtis Salgado and Buddy Guy. In early 2011, Mia opened two nights for Grammy nominee and Blues Hall of Fame inductee John Hammond at Seattle’s Jazz Alley.

With a solid rhythm section and guitar backing her, Mia Vermillion brings her own songs, beats and style to the blues creating a fresh, unique sound. “…One of the best vocalists I’ve heard in a while..." says Graham Clarke with Blues Bytes Magazine. Mia’s voice and stage presence has been described as sultry and intoxicating. “…she infuses her singing with more humidity than Ma Rainey and more sex than Lena Horn,” according to AllAboutJazz.com’s Michael Bailey.

The release of Mia Vermillion’s independent debut CD titled "Alone Together With the Blues" sealed Mia’s transition into national awareness. The album received National attention and rave reviews, boasting airplay on The Roots Music Report Blues Radio chart Top 50 (2 weeks at #45 and #46) as well as rocketing to #2 on XM Radio's B.B. King’s Bluesville’s ‘Picks to Click’ with her recording of I'm Going to Copyright Your Kisses.

Mia’s charismatic stage presence is supported by a crew of very gifted musicians: Jason Edwards, a talented young percussionist out of Seattle, on drums and percussion; Jon Bayless on bass; and Rod Cook on slide and acoustic guitar. Collectively, these musicians have performed and recorded with such notable artists as Heart, Taj Mahal, Vicci Martinez, The Halyards, and James "Curley" Cooke of the Steve Miller Band.

Mia and guitar/dobro master Orville Johnson won the Washington Blues Society’s blues challenge in the Solo/Duo category allowing them to represent the Society at the prestigious Blues Foundation 26th International Blues Challenge in Memphis, Tennessee.