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"Michael Clay Mills keeps it way realer than you’ve ever even imagined keeping it—no joke." Alex De Vore, music critic for The Reporter magazine, Santa Fe, N.M.
Michael Clay Mills is a musician/songwriter/producer from Santa Fe, New Mexico and has just recently launched a solo career of recordings made over the past four years at Crow Mesa Studios, his personal endeavor on top of a house in Santa Fe overlooking the Jemez and Sangre de Christo Mountains that tower over the high deserts. He has been a well known and popular solo performer in the Southwest for many years - - earning the nickname "Saloon Warrior" for his ability to reach into a song catalogue of over 200 tunes and entertain any crowd anywhere. His reputation for professional and dynamic live performances is coupled with an intuitive ability to write and record an eclectic range of songs, a unique blend of songwriting that takes the listener on a strange and unpredictable journey. It is music that blurs the lines between our everyday world and worlds unseen, slowly lifting a veil from a mystery long forgotten in the modern human mind and left to the academic realm of mythology and legend. "Children of Avalon" offers brief sketches of this mystery, weaving ancient themes of romance and desire seamlessly into the infinite world of dreams and spirit - - then back again, unleashing sixty minutes of songs exploring the modern human condition that betrays contradictions of the heart.
Released independently, "Children of Avalon" stands out as a fresh departure from the world of Americana/folk and Alt. Country releases currently saturating the indy market these days and unintentionally defies any attempt to place it in a specific genre. Sometimes richly produced and other times hauntingly sparse, this album is a showcase of Mills' writing talent, guitar virtuosity, vocal chops and production abilities. A unique and classic addition to any audiophiles' CD library.
"After many years of knowing, playing, co-habitating and 'recreating' with Michael Clay Mills, (also known as Skinnicus Straticus), I can heartily recommend anything this unique and ancient soul produces. He is tuned into a frequency that is off the dial for the common man, knowingly nodding his head to the rhythms and pulses which reverberate somewhere beyond Antares and the Big Dipper. It can be all too easy to scoff at the magic man, and the prophet is never believed in his own home town, but this is a hard-core cat who walks the walk of a true desert dwelling mystic, and if you glimpse an unfamiliar and slightly disturbing scene when listening to his music, chances are he's hung his hat on a toadstool dwelling somewhere just south of nowhere, and brought you back a mental postcard from beyond the regular. I dig it all, and I'm glad that I have him as a scout to peek behind the curtains I am too shy to tug at." Doug Osburn, professional musician and songwriter, bass on "Letter to Bianca".