"A wonderful singer, guitarist and songwriter."
ASHLEY HUTCHINGS MBE
"Strong stories, great arrangements... she sings from the soul"
"Superb songwriter... gorgeous voice... incredibly talented"
"Sung from the soul... every track is a joy"
Hailing from the wild moorlands of North Yorkshire, singer-songwriter Becky Mills brings a uniquely personal and touching slant to the modern folk genre.
With a foot in both contemporary & classic traditions, her evocative songs take the listener through topics encompassing love, loss, motherhood, emigration, the regrets of old age, the nature of heroism, grief during wartime - even the joy of running away to the circus! - a kaleidoscope of subjects, but always with wit, humour, charm and feeling.
Described by listeners as "moving", "witty", sometimes "heart-rending", but always "uplifting", her acclaimed 2013 mainstream debut "Dandelion" led to comparisons with Sandy Denny - but this was no bolt from the blue.
An accomplished soloist and collaborator...
Becky spent the early 2000's recording solo albums locally, whilst gigging far and wide and supporting the likes of Pentangle, Fairport Convention and Barbara Dickson.
She then joined Waking the Witch and co-wrote two successful albums. A unique all-girl modern folk ensemble, WtW acquired a loyal fanbase who followed them to major festivals such as Trowbridge, Cambridge and Glastonbury.
A distinctive breakthrough...
After a short career break to start a family, "Dandelion" (2013) broke through to mainstream appeal, attracting rave reviews from listeners and journalists alike. Becky spent 2014 and 2015 touring the album at folk clubs and festivals countrywide.
Further close collaboration with Ashley Hutchings (Fairport, Steeleye Span, The Albion Band) followed, with a UK-wide tour of Ash's "Shakespeare to Sonnets" show plus the premiere of "Fairport Beginnings" concept at Cropredy Festival in 2017. Becky then played an important role in Ashley's 2018 double-CD release "Paradise and Thorns", contributing a specially commissioned song "The Swift".
In between times she was kept busy recording and gigging with former Steeleye stalwart Ken Nicol, fellow ex-Witch Patsy Matheson and former Rainbow Chaser and multi-instrumentalist Ruth Angell.
In 2018 Becky signed with Talking Elephant records for the release of "Tall Tales and Home Truths", the long awaited follow-up to Dandelion, released in April 2019.
In 2020 Becky released "A Midwinter Miscellany" as one third of a trio with Ashley Hutchings and Blair Dunlop. Becky also appeared on the prestigious Relay Vol.2 compilation, alongside Frank Turner, Sean McGowan and Katherine Priddy, in aid of the Music Venue Trust's #SaveOurVenues campaign.
Becky performing "Amy Sharpe" from "Dandelion"
On stage (R) with Waking the Witch at Glastonbury
Becky is a firm favourite in an intimate Folk Club setting
A 5-minute interview with Becky...
Q1 - How would you describe your music to someone who's new to you?
Folky female singer-songwriter with a twist. A picker not a strummer. Atmospheric and a bit unsettling sometimes. Mix up the song structures to keep things surprising.
Q2 - What was the first record to make a big impression on you?
Someone lent me a copy of "Blue" by Joni Mitchell when I was 13. It was the first time I realised that words in songs really meant something. I suddenly realised that songs could be stories, and not just about boys and stuff.
The first record that I actually went out and bought was "The Joker" by the Steve Miller Band. I got quite a shock when I found out the man on the motorbike in the Levi's advert was not in fact Steve Miller.
Q3 - Can you remember the first song you ever wrote?
When I was 14 I wrote a song called "The Moon" for my music GCSE course. It went "If the night brings fear because of darkened skies / Look into my pallid face, and I will dry your eyes". It had quite a nice guitar bit in it which I still teach to my younger guitar pupils today!
Q4 - Which song do you wish you'd written?
I always envy everybody else's songs but mine. Then I realise, you can only write the music that is in you. One day whilst driving to rehearsal, "Samson" by Regina Spektor came on the radio and I had to pull the car over. It was completely breathtaking. I'm also quite an admirer of "Two Margarines" by John Shuttleworth
Q5 - What happens when you write a song? Where does it come from?
A lot of people ask me "which comes first?". Sometimes it's the words, and the rhythm of the words kind of dictates the style of music. Other times it's a riff or a chord that sets things off. I have big pauses where I can't write a thing and then it all flows out so quickly that I almost feel it's not me that's created it. They do seem to emerge fully formed like laying an egg.
Q6 - Is there another player or singer you still dream of collaborating with?
Richard Thompson or Bob Dylan would be the dream. I'd happily lay a new egg with either.