Blake Mills, 31, is one of the most innovative and talked-about guitarists of his generations—a true player’s player. His career is unfolding on three fronts: As a session and touring guitarist, he’s worked with Billy Gibbons, Lucinda Williams, Fiona Apple, John Legend, Randy Newman, Lana Del Ray, the Avett Brothers, Vulfpeck, Carlene Carter, and Norah Jones. He’s also received two Grammy nominations for Producer of the Year, first for overseeing Alabama Shakes’ breakthroughs album Sound and Color in 2015, and again in 2017 for Perfume Genius’s No Shape album. He’s also created four acclaimed solo albums.
Blake’s playing is steeped in traditional folk, blues, and ethnic music, but it’s seldom retro. He inevitably twists his influences into startling new configurations that feel simultaneously old and new, often employing slide and fretless guitar to stretch the boundaries of intonation and groove. His latest solo album is Mutable Set, released just a few weeks ago.