JIM MILLS began singing almost as soon as he could talk. He got his first guitar at age five, and his daddy took him to see an ancient Arkansas porch musician, who taught him a few chords. He’s been playing ever since. A stint as a church caretaker started his interest in piano. “They had one in every room, and as I’d clean, I’d take a break and play on every one of them.” As a child, Jim sang in church, then later with high school friends. He began performing around town and soon attracted a loyal following. He’s played all over the country, opened for J.J. Cale, and recorded and played with Arkansas’ legendary Cate Brothers.
He also delved into songwriting, a passion that’s lasted for decades. Jim’s penned over a hundred original tunes over the years, some of which he’s recorded in Nashville and Memphis. His songs express a wide range of emotions and subjects- the ups and downs of love, the humorous side of life and his reflections on the world. Jim’s interest in all genres of music makes for a pretty broad song list. It makes him a favorite at weddings and public events, because there really is “something for everyone.” Van Morrison, Eric Clapton, John Prine, the Beatles, Jackson Brown, Dan Fogelberg, Levon Helm, the Steel Drivers, Bonnie Raitt--if a song appeals to him, chances are, he’ll soon be performing it.
An accomplished vocalist, guitarist and keyboard player, Jim Mills’ is more than just another singer. He’s a musician with heart. Audiences love listening to him, and it keeps them coming back.
THE HELLBENDERS are a group of Arkansas’ finest musicians. Their years of combined experience and musical knowledge make them high-caliber entertainers.
“The Wizard” BOB MYERS (guitar/vocals) has been playing guitar since the age of eight. He was a music major at the University of Missouri in Columbia when he decided to make playing live music a full time career. He’s also been a music instructor for decades, and estimates that he’s given between 18 and 20 thousand guitar lessons. Bob has played with some of Arkansas’ most famous (and infamous) bands, including Zorro and the Blue Footballs, Windy Austin and the Hothouse Tomato Boys and the Jason Strode Band.
Bassist and vocalist STEVE BASKIN has been a staple of the Northwest Arkansas music scene for decades. He’s been playing since his parents bought him his first Silvertone guitar as a Christmas gift when he was ten, a gift he’ll always be grateful for. He went on to earn degrees in music performance and composition, and taught music for over twenty years. Steve’s played with Dr. Six, the Northwest Arkansas Symphony, Jennifer Flowers (of Bill Clinton scandal fame), and numerous local rock bands, including Cherry Brooks,
Steve’s played with Dr. Six, the Northwest Arkansas Symphony, Jennifer Flowers (of Bill Clinton scandal fame), and numerous local rock bands, including Cherry Brooks, Blue Reed and the FOS Project. He’s done studio work with various artists, and has worked with a number of songwriters, including Jim Mills, Jerry Hayes and Rhonda “Kye” Fleming. Accomplished in classical, jazz, bluegrass and rock, he’s a talented music veteran, and has picked up several awards to prove it, including best Rhythm and Blues Band, Best Dance Band and other accolades. Being in the Hellbenders has been one of the highlights of his musical career—“It’s not the same old songs,” he says. “Jim and the band are pros--they make playing music fun.”
LEE CHRISTENSON has been playing drums for over 40 years, and has played with bands in New York, Illinois, Florida, Arizona and North West Arkansas. He's performed with Chuck Berry and the band Free. He also toured with the Light Brigade and The Laughing Giraffe, which featured the late Pork Armstrong and guitar phenom Steve Hunter (Mitch Rider, Lou Reed, Alice Cooper, Tracey Chapman, Peter Gabriel, etc.). He was a founding member of Johnny and the Boogie Men, now known as the Boogiemen, a Southwest Florida favorite, who just celebrated 25 years of rocking for the people! He moved to NWA in 2008 and has played with several local bands including: Brick Fields and The Chosen Ones, Blew Reed and the Flatheads, The David Kimbrough Band, The Blue Springs Blues Band and several other artists.