Mississippi gal puts all on line, best CD of career

Lisa Mills

I first met Lisa Mills via email in 2011. Sometimes you just know someone is going to make it — a hard thing in the music business especially these days — Lisa was one of those.

In my 2011 review, which is still posted on her website, I said, “Tempered in Fire (her first CD), is one of the best CDs to land on my desk in a while, a set of songs reared in gospel, saturated in the blues and sprinkled with rock.”

I still stand by that, but today with the release of The Triangle, you can hear the growth, both in music and style which has occurred over these nine years — in one word, Lisa has become “remarkable.”

The girl never forgets she’s a Mississippi (Hattiesburg) native. She lives in Alabama (Mobile), but that’s close enough.

The triangle refers to that holy ground of music, from Memphis, to Muscle Shoals to Jackson, Miss. She recorded songs that were originally recorded in each city she visited and became one with the songs she recorded along the way.

“I’m so excited that The Triangle is finally out,” Lisa said. “Recording this album was an incredible journey with my formidable producer, Fred Mollin. His concept and creativity resulted in the most heartfelt album I ever made in my career.”

The first single released from the album is “Greenwood, Mississippi” and its a barn-burner. The song was originally recorded by Little Richard in the early 1970s in Muscle Shoals. Lisa recorded the track with some of the original musicians in the same studio where it was first recorded.

It’s easy to see what a great collaboration Lisa and Fred became.

“I wanted to make a traditional R&B/blues album that preserved the spirit of the original songs, while giving them a fresh new life and point of view,” Fred said about the sessions. “Backed by a wonderful group of legendary musicians, working in the most important musical southern cities and their most historic studios was such a great thrill. For me it was the trifecta. Lisa gave each song her own special character, and it was a great pleasure producing her. I truly feel Lisa is one of the greatest soul singers I have ever heard. Now we get to share these songs with others in the hope that everyone has as much pleasure listening to them as we had recording them.”

The bonus track “Just Walking in the Rain,” was recorded at Sun Studios in Memphis, and was a special adventure — both she and her mother really loved that boy from Tupelo — Elvis Presley.

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