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Chris Mills
One of more prominent members of the Chicago alt-country scene, Chris Mills plays the brand of country/folk/rock that has been labeled "insurgent country." In his shows, he blends artfully written original songs and covers of classic country, folk and bluegrass tunes. His style ranges from traditional Carter Family-style country and more modern Graham Parsons and Uncle Tupelo-inspired country tunes, to folk, straight-ahead rock and roll, with even a few forays into punk, hard rock and electronica (he's been known to play amazing covers of the Pulsars' nintendo-rock song "Owed to a Devil" and Guns 'n Roses "Night Train.").

His latest Kiss it Goodbye (Sugar Free, 2000) has received rave reviews from the music press in the US as well as Europe; Mills has completed a pair of successful tours of Europe and the UK highlighted by a glowing review from the Times of London. The record is more heartbreak in the heartland, though Mills is more overtly country on some tracks (notably on "Watch Chain" and "Crooked Vein") than in the past while eschewing the twang altogether on the poppy and (dare we say it?) polished "Brand New Day." Mills second record Every Night Fight for Your Life came out on 1/27/98 on local label Sugar Free Records (See our review). It's a more balanced effort than his first record, more accurately conveying his impressive range of styles. The recording features several blistering rock oriented songs (Fire for You, and Sawtooth), some mellower, introspective acoustic numbers (Pontiac, Chenoa, Take Me Down) and some almost Phil Specter-ish sounding pop tracks (The Fresh Young Mouth, 1,000 Blue Eyed Girls).

His first record, Nobody's Favorite, also onSugar Free Records is an all-acoustic country-folk oriented effort. Mills' song-writing has a lot in common with the late Uncle Tupelo from down state Belleville (near Collinsville -- Chris' hometown). The themes of his songs run the gamut from traditional country themes such as heartbreak and drinking to more introspective personal songs about his town and small-town America in general.

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