Mia Vermillion is an artist who offers an original contribution to the blues scene. She entered the blues scene through the backdoor not really knowing who-is-who in blues, but rather playing from within and with classic vocal inspirations from the past. She has played the popular Jazz Alley venue in Seattle, opening for John Hammond. She has opened the festivities at the Portland Waterfront Blues Festival in July 2011, which is the largest blues festival on the west coast. She has represented Washington State at the 26th annual International Blues Challenge in Memphis. Mia has self produced her hit recording “Alone Together With The Blues”, which has made the top picks on Bluesville Sirius XM.
Does she need validation from others of just how good she is? According to Mia, “that is something that most people strive for, but the important thing is to be at peace with yourself and then the light will shine on what you can do”.
Dew Wiuff had an opportunity to chat with Mia Vermillion and they discussed a wide range of topics from her past, present, and future. Mia shares her accomplishments and struggles as an artist in the blues industry.
DEW: First let’s discuss what you have been up to recently.
MIA: I have played some great venues this summer. I opened for John Hammond at the infamous Jazz Alley venue in Seattle, Washington, and opened the Safeway Waterfront Blues Festival with Buddy Guy, in Portland, Oregon.
DEW: Your latest debut recording is “Alone Together With The Blues”, which is self produced, how did you get into producing your own material?
MIA: My husband Todd helped inspire the studio. In the 1990′s, the internet was developed for communication, and the web was not available at the time. I knew there would be the ability for graphics and sound, as applications were developed. By 2002-2003, the technology for independent recording became viable.
DEW: Did you begin performing while in college?
MIA: My first band called Ryan, was formed when I was a senior in high school. Ryan is named after an airplane because our band practiced in a large airplane hanger. I sang in choir, played guitar and piano, and have always been interested in vocals. The experience of studying vocals and working with other vocalists in college, proved that I had a wide range of vocals.
DEW: The style and tone of the recordings on ”Alone Together With The Blues” sound like a mix of easy listening blues, folk, and jazz. What inspires you to this unique style?
MIA: I like different and interesting chord progressions, besides the traditional three chords in twelve bar blues. The people that really get this recording, hear something different every time they listen. The first time, it hits them but they don’t know quite what they are hearing. Folks enjoy discovering something new with every listen. I’m inspired by classic styles such as, Lil Green and Big Blue Broonsy from their 1930′s and early 40′s blues ballads, which were influenced by jazz.
DEW: I know you were out of the music scene for awhile because of a serious injury. Can you explain what that period of your life was like?
MIA: Yes, the injury was serious and took me away from actively being involved with music. I still wanted to be around the music scene and tried to use my vision, but the vision and inspiration were taken away. I began to recover when realizing that I can not be sidetracked by pain and suffering. The vision and inspiration began to return with peace, it was a test in recovery. I have learned that peace provides vision and inspiration, the validity comes from within as light begins to shine on what you can do.
We continued to discuss the vision and inspiration of Mia Vermillion’s music. I felt a connection develop that truly began to inspire me. We related as human beings and could recognize the need of peace, which provides vision and inspiration of what one can accomplish. Mia is working on a new recording, and I believe it will be one with a message that inspires us all. Thank you Mia.
Content provided by Mia Vermillion and written by Dew Wiuff 20111010