“It was the mid-1950s when I first saw Elvis on TV. Although I was only three or four years old, I realized I had just witnessed something incredibly powerful, and for me music was what it was going to be all about.”
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 lullabyes emanating from Nashville’s WLAC and WSM and Knoxville’s WNOX.
Maybe that’s why critics speak ofhis 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 National Fingerstyle Guitar Competition at The Walnut Valley Festival in Winfield, Kansas. Guitar Player Magazine has labeled this event the “U.S. Open of guitar competitions." Bill received a GRAMMY Award for his collaboration with musician and storyteller David Holt on the recording Stellaluna, and has been featured on the popular guitar compilations "Windham Hill Guitar Sampler" by Windham Hill Recordsand "Masters of the Acoustic Guitar" by Narada Records. 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.