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Gene and Gayla Mills, based in central Virginia, play acoustic Americana--folk tinged with bluegrass, country, and more. With "some of the best organic music you could hope to come across" (Chris Spector, Midwest Record), the duo features impressive lead guitar, solid bass fiddle, smooth harmonies, and award winning songs.
Gene’s first CD, the solo effort Waiting for Rain (2008), garnered national airplay and more than a dozen songwriting awards. Gene is also an accomplished guitarist and singer.
Gayla’s bass playing, with its rhythmic drive and full tone, is the heartbeat of the music and accompanies her tender harmony singing. She is also the mastermind behind the recording and promotion of Gene’s songs and has co-written a few songs with him.
Married over 25 years, Gene and Gayla have been playing as a duo since 2004. “The dynamic between the both of them is just beautiful. It’s a sweet thing to watch.” (Karen Atkinson, WHAN).
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 forthcoming release Walk on Solid Ground, 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.
Gene and Gayla have played at the Oak Grove Folk Festival, the Crozet Music Festival, the Richmond Irish Festival, the Nashville Songwriter’s Festival, and the Fredericksburg Songwriters’ Showcase. They’ve also opened for the Honey Dewdrops and for Bill Evans and Megan Lynch. They are often joined by Barry Lawson on mandolin.
Their influences include Townes Van Zandt, Claire Lynch, Crooked Still, Alison Kraus, Nickel Creek, Si Kahn, and Robin and Linda Williams.