Pictured in Ocean Way’s historic Studio B are (L-R) Don Was, bass; Jim Keltner, drums; Blake Mills, vocals/guitars; Greg Koller, engineer; Mike Elizondo, bass. Photo by David Goggin.
Hollywood, CA (September 4, 2014)—Ocean Way studios in Hollywood recently hosted sessions for the second album by guitarist, songwriter and producer Blake Mills.
The self-produced album, Heigh Ho, will be released September 16th via Verve Records/Record Collection and is available for pre-order at iTunes, where those who pre-order the album will receive instant downloads of the tracks “If I’m Unworthy” and “Don’t Tell Our Friends About Me.”
“The goals for Heigh Ho were songs, sonics and capturing performance,” Mills said. “I love my first album and how it sounds, but since making Break Mirrors, I feel like I’ve heard enough music that seems to be overtly ‘lo-fi’ or reverb-saturated; so I was interested in finding a combination of sounds that I hadn’t heard used together before. I was very fortunate to be able to call on this group of people to help me map some new terrain.”
To that end, Mills asked several of his musical heroes—including Jim Keltner, Don Was, Jon Brion, Benmont Tench, Mike Elizondo and Fiona Apple (who duets on the slow-burning “Seven” and timeless sounding “Don’t Tell Our Friends About Me”)—to collaborate on what would become Heigh Ho.
Mills, whose debut, Break Mirrors, was hailed as one of the best albums of 2010, produced the highly anticipated sophomore album for The Alabama Shakes and has also worked as a producer with ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons, Sara Watkins, Conor Oberst, Sky Ferreira, and Fiona Apple, with whom he toured extensively in 2013 and 2014. As a session player and sideman, he has worked with Beck, Cass McCombs, Jackson Brown, Lucinda Williams, Moses Sumney and Neil Diamond, among others. Rick Rubin and T Bone Burnett frequently call upon his services as a guitarist, and equally enamored is Eric Clapton who recently told Rolling Stone magazine, “Blake Mills is the last guitarist I heard that I thought was phenomenal.”
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