Grammy-winning guitarist Bill Mize is a son of Tennessee, and a fitting representative of his state’s rich musical heritage. His critically lauded fingerstyle compositions are fluid and intricate, and their delivery masterful. One suspects an influential teacher, and one would be right. “I received most of my musical education from a cheap Zenith radio,” says Mize, who as a child drifted off to sleep to the decidedly non-sleepy lullabies emanating from Nashville’s WLAC and WSM and Knoxville’s WNOX.
Maybe that’s why critics speak of his ability to “transport” the listener; the music itself has been transported. The links to his Tennessee roots are unmistakable, but so are the elements of the far wider musical realm he inhabits, and the mixture is as intoxicating as Tennessee moonshine. With a twist.
Bill is a past winner of the Winfield National Fingerstyle Guitar Competition, and received a GRAMMY Award for his collaboration with musician and storyteller David Holt on the recording Stellaluna. Popular acoustic guitar compilations “Windham Hill Guitar Sampler” by Windham Hill Records and “Masters of the Acoustic Guitar” by Narada Recordsincluded works. In 2009, Bill’s music appeared in the Ken Burns documentary “The National Parks: America’s Best Idea.” Mel Bay Productions transcribed Mize’s second CD, “Tender Explorations,” into a songbook, and his original compositions have been transcribed for Fingerstyle Guitar and Acoustic Guitar magazines.
Beth Bramhall, Janet Haarvig and Beth Youngblood comprise the core of Ouzel, and perform a colorful set of original acoustic art music on violin, cello, accordion and piano. All three have performed as “side-women” for a number of other artists and ensembles; and have been heard as featured performers and in projects and live productions including concerts, film soundtracks, NPR, PBS, live theatre, and at new music festivals.