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Lisa Mills brings her mama's jukebook to Hornchurch

PUBLISHED: 09:41 30 June 2015 | UPDATED: 11:10 30 June 2015

Lisa Mills.

Lisa Mills.

©2014 Darina Neyret. All Rights Reserved.

Self proclaimed "Southern girl" Lisa Mills will give the Fairkytes Arts Centre, in Hornchurch, one of the first outings of her fascinating new album.

Lisa Mills live.Lisa Mills live.

The singer, described as a mixture of blues, gospel and country, will play in Billet Lane on Friday.

The crowd will hear several numbers from her latest project Mama’s jukebook.

Lisa, from Mobile, Alabama, in the USA, told the Recorder why the album was so important to her.

“My mum passed away three years ago. We all got given some of her stuff, and a few months ago and I found this notebook with all these amazing lyrics written down.”

Lisa had no idea this book existed, and now plans to record covers of all her mother’s favourite songs, including some with the choir of her family’s original church in Spring Cottage, Mississippi.

She said: “It is important to remember when my mum wrote these lyrics, there was no internet, she had to hold the needle on the record player and keep moving it back until she’d written them down.”

Lisa’s mother, Jan Powell, filled the notebook from 1972 to 1973.

When Lisa was going through the lyrics with her boyfriend, trying to work out the songwriters she made another amazing discovery.

“I was reading them to my boyfriend, who knows his stuff, and he was telling me about them, who had recorded the songs and there was this one song which he didn’t know anything about.

“We realised that this song must have been written by my mum.”

Lisa had no idea her mother was a songwriter.

“I never, never, never knew. She was my biggest fan, she always used to put my records next to Elvis in the car.

“All this time I thought all my musical talent was taken from my dad, who played guitar, and I had no idea about my mum.”

Lisa thinks the notebook shows how central music was and is to life in the Deep South.

“Everywhere you go you have music. It was a life line for my mum who was divorced with three kids, working as a waiter.”

If you want to hear Lisa’ mother’s song and more, she is playing at Fairkytes Arts Centre, Billet Lane, Hornchurch on Friday.

Doors open at 7.00pm and you can buy tickets here or by calling 01708 456308.

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