Blake Mills

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Blake Mills
Blake Mills in studio.jpg
Background information
Born (1986-09-21) September 21, 1986 (age 33)[1]
California, United States
Occupation(s)Songwriter, guitarist, composer
LabelsRecord Collection

Blake Mills (born September 21, 1986) is an American songwriter, guitarist, producer, and composer based in California.[2]


Blake Mills was born in Santa Monica, California, United States,[1] and grew up in Malibu, where he attended Malibu High School with Taylor Goldsmith. Mills and Goldsmith began their musical careers in a band they co-founded called Simon Dawes. Simon Dawes released its debut EP What No One Hears in 2005, and its first LP Carnivore in September 2006 via Record Collection.[3][4] After the band broke up in 2007, Goldsmith and his younger brother, Griffin, formed the band Dawes with Simon Dawes bassist, Wylie Gelber, and Mills went on to serve as a touring guitarist for Jenny Lewis.[5] He went on to tour with Band of Horses,[6] Cass McCombs,[7] Julian Casablancas[8][9] and Lucinda Williams.[10][11] As a session musician, Mills has collaborated with Conor Oberst, Kid Rock,[12] Weezer, The Avett Brothers, Paulo Nutini,[13] Norah Jones, Carlene Carter, Jesca Hoop, Dixie Chicks, Zucchero, Pink, Lana Del Rey, Dangermouse, Vulfpeck and more.

In 2010, Mills released his first solo LP, Break Mirrors, via Record Collection. The original intent for the album was to serve as a calling card for Mills to get session work.[14]Break Mirrors was touted as the album of the year by many websites and fellow musicians, despite its limited release.[15][16] In late 2011, after spending back-to-back years on tour and in the studio playing on other people’s records, Mills made the decision to begin producing in order to explore musical concepts beyond guitar.[17] Analog Edition Records released a Blake Mills double A side 7" in 2011, featuring the songs "Hey Lover" and "Wintersong" in 2011.[18]

In January 2012, Mills appeared on Conan O’Brien for his first national televised performance as a solo artist. He covered Bob Dylan’s “Heart Of Mine,” which he had recently played at an Amnesty International benefit.[19] Later that year, he went on to co-produce Jesca Hoop's album The House that Jack Built,[20][21] produced Sara Watkins' album Sun Midnight Sun,[22] wrote and produced "Sad Dream" on Sky Ferreira's latest EP Ghost and an additional two tracks on her upcoming LP I'm Not Alright. Mills was featured on electric slide guitar on the track '"Go Home" from the 2013 debut album from the group Lucius.[23] For the compilation album Just Tell Me That You Want Me: A Tribute to Fleetwood Mac, he co-produced and played with Billy Gibbons and Matt Sweeney on the track "Oh Well".[24] Mills also served as the opening act and guitarist for Fiona Apple during her 2012 tour through North America.[25][26] Mills co-produced the track "Artifact 1" on Conor Oberst's album, Upside Down Mountain, which was released in May 2014. He also produced the forthcoming untitled release from Jesca Hoop and Mt. Egypt's III.[27]

Mills released his second full length album, Heigh Ho, on September 16, 2014. This self-produced album combines a range of genres. Along with friends and inspirations including Fiona Apple, Jim Keltner, Don Was, Benmont Tench, Jon Brion, and Mike Elizondo, Mills recorded Heigh Ho at the legendary Ocean Way Recording studios in a room built for Frank Sinatra.[28] He also produced the sophomore release from Alabama Shakes. Recording took place at Sound Emporium in Nashville, a studio originally built for Sun Records house producer Cowboy Jack Clement.

In 2015 Mills was nominated for a Grammy in the category of Producer of the Year, Non-Classical for his work on Alabama Shakes breakthrough album Sound & Color.[29]

Mills' 2016 producer credits include albums from former bandmates Dawes, along with upcoming albums from John Legend, Laura Marling, Jim James and Perfume Genius. In the same year, he also performed guitar and various other instruments on Andrew Bird's album Are You Serious. In 2017, Mills took part in Randy Newman's Dark Matter as a guitarist.

Mollusk sessions[edit]

From time to time Mills hosts invite only musical performances at Mollusk Surf Shop,[30] in Venice, California. Previous shows have seen Mills accompanied by musicians such as Jackson Browne, Billy Gibbons, Matt Sweeney, Cass McCombs, Jenny Lewis, Charlie Sexton, Benmont Tench, Dave Rawlings, Val McCallum, Tal Wilkenfeld, Mike Einziger, Danielle Haim, Smokey Hormel, Michael Elizondo, Anthony Wilson, and Xavier Mas.



Simon Dawes[edit]


Production credits[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Jambase". Retrieved 2 December 2014.
  2. ^ "IFC". Retrieved 2 December 2014.
  3. ^ Los Angeles Times (31 August 2006). "The Los Angeles Times". Retrieved 2 December 2014.
  4. ^ "". Prefixmag. Retrieved 2 December 2014.
  5. ^ "Paste". Retrieved 2 December 2014.
  6. ^ "The Owl". The Owl Mag. Retrieved 2 December 2014.
  7. ^ "Spin". SPIN. Retrieved 2 December 2014.
  8. ^ "Spin". SPIN. Retrieved 2 December 2014.
  9. ^ "The Strokes' Julian Casablancas Performs Solo Set in Tokyo". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2 December 2014.
  10. ^ "". Voice Project. Retrieved 2 December 2014.
  11. ^ "". The Fretboard Journal: Keepsake magazine for guitar collectors. Archived from the original on 9 July 2011. Retrieved 2 December 2014.
  12. ^ "Billboard". Billboard. Retrieved 2 December 2014.
  13. ^ "The Huffington Post". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 2 December 2014.
  14. ^ "Ticket Giveaway - Blake Mills w/ Fiona Apple - 10.21.12 - Stage AE - Show Preview - Concert Preview". Pittsburgh Music Report. Archived from the original on 3 September 2014. Retrieved 27 August 2014.
  15. ^ "". Archived from the original on 25 November 2014. Retrieved 2 December 2014.
  16. ^ "". Retrieved 2 December 2014.
  17. ^ "Blake Mils". Off Camera. Archived from the original on 3 September 2014. Retrieved 27 August 2014.
  18. ^ "Analog Edition". Retrieved 2 December 2014.
  19. ^ "Blake Mills". Playback STL. Archived from the original on 10 September 2014. Retrieved 27 August 2014.
  20. ^ "". The Quietus. Retrieved 2 December 2014.
  21. ^ "". Retrieved 2 December 2014.
  22. ^ "". Nonesuch Records Official Website. Retrieved 2 December 2014.
  23. ^ Lucius [@ilovelucius] (7 February 2012). "ruv the slide work of Mister @BreakMirrors in our song "Go Home" - video premier here @FILTERmagazine" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  24. ^ a b "Song Premiere: Billy Gibbons and Co., 'Oh Well'". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2 December 2014.
  25. ^ "". LAist. Archived from the original on 26 March 2015. Retrieved 2 December 2014.
  26. ^ "". Fuse. Retrieved 2 December 2014.
  27. ^ "Jesca Hoop". Retrieved 27 August 2014.
  28. ^ "Blake Mills' 'Heigh Ho' To Be Release 9/16 On Verve Records". Broadway World. Archived from the original on 18 October 2014. Retrieved 28 July 2014.
  29. ^ "Grammy Nominations 2016: See the Full List of Nominees". Billboard. Retrieved 2016-04-08.
  30. ^ "Take It Easy - Blake Mills, Dawes, Jackson Browne (Live)". YouTube. Retrieved 2 December 2014.
  31. ^ "Laura Marling announces new album, Semper Femina, shares video for lead single "Soothing" — watch". 28 November 2016. Retrieved 30 November 2018.