Gene Mills is a Virginia-based songwriter, singer, and guitar player in styles spanning Americana, folk, bluegrass, and country. He has been performing, both solo and in various ensembles, for 30 years. For the last ten years, he has been performing with his wife Gayla on bass and vocals, and they are often accompanied by Barry Lawson on mandolin.
Gene’s first CD, the solo effort Waiting for Rain (2008), garnered national airplay and more than a dozen songwriting awards. Gene and Gayla’s debut CD as a duo, If Stones Could Talk (2011), reached #5 on the Roots Music Folk Chart and #11 on the Folk DJ chart. It has garnered eight awards, including first place in instrumental, folk, and country categories. The album has been played on over fifty stations in the US, as well as in Germany, Australia, and Canada.
Their latest release "Walk on Solid Ground" (April 2015), with its mix of folk, Americana, and bluegrass, includes two songs that have already garnered attention: “Another Day” has won two songwriting awards; “No Dominion Over Me” has become an anthem for opponents of a proposed pipeline running through several states. The album features guest musicians Ivan Rosenberg on dobro, Barry Lawson on mandolin, and Cody Martin on drums.
Complex and rich, Gene's songs put memorable characters into moving stories about work, love, and loss, with occasional forays into comedy. Two of his songs have been recorded by other artists: “Anna Mae” by Steve Smith and “Fool's Gold” by the Alan Munde Gazette.
Gene is more than a songwriter, though. His rich voice, flatpicking prowess, and engaging stage presence make him an audience favorite.
“Stories revealed from modern times to past, along with his stellar guitar work, show why Gene continues to be one of my favorite writers and musicians” (Steve Smith).