Jaime Mills gets a part in upcoming WesternWritten by Matt Liasse | | firstname.lastname@example.org
After 22 years of making music, Jaime Mills said he may have gotten his big break.
In April, the singer will travel to New Mexico for a role in “When the Storm God Rides,” a movie based on the novel by Thomas E. Kelly. The western follows James Walker, who is seeking revenge on men who murdered his wife and daughter. “Storm God Rides” will be directed by Michael Preece, a director of the original “Dallas” series
“This seems to be playing out as the discovery of me,” Mills said. “I’ve paid my dues. I’ve done the work.”
The movie will be filmed at the same time as a television pilot, also based on the novel. Mills was given the opportunity for a screen-test for the series as well. Both projects will be written by Kelly, who just finished writing the fifth episode of the series. After he writes 15, he said he will shop the series to networks.
“When you write scripts [for films], you can only use some of the book,” Kelly said. “I really want to tell the whole story of James Walker.”
The “Storm God Rides” projects came at a pivotal time in Mills’ career. He was thinking of quitting the music business altogether before meeting Kelly through Bruce Slusher, a former FOX Toledo weather anchor who also appears in the movie. He said the role and song are setting up to be a “career-saving opportunity.”
“On the cusp of making this decision, I met Thomas Kelly,” Mills said. “That rekindled my condition. Opportunities like this do not present themselves very often, if ever.”
Mills plays in concert at local bars with drummer Ty Legan.
This year, he released “Forever On It Goes …,” an unplugged album featuring Mills on vocals and guitars and Legan on percussion.
Mills wanted the album to sound like he was singing at a campfire. He said it’s the simplest songs that are most effective, like “Turn The Page” by Bob Seger, one of his favorites to cover. It’s all about the simplicity of the melody, he said.
“I’m not a flashy guitar player,” Mills said. “I believe in three chords and the truth.”
“A Handshake Ain’t What It Used To Be,” the album’s most personal track, follows the last conversation he had with his father, who died of liver cancer in 2000. During the one-on-one conversation, Mills’ father told him that most things in life aren’t cheap and to be a man of his word.
“I love to perform it, but if I don’t have my mind right, it gets difficult for me,” Mills said.
Toledo radio personality Gary Shores from K100 is a fan.
“I like Jaime’s style,” he said. “I enjoy all his music. In person, he’ll impress a lot of people.”
At press time, Mills was working on a song for the “Storm God Rides” soundtrack. The song, “They Should Have Come For Him,” was written by Kelly, who will ultimately decide if it appears on the soundtrack.
“The song tells a story,” Mills said. “It lends itself to a very emotional experience for the listener. It’s a very challenging project musically and vocally. It brings the listener on a roller coaster ride.”
On the production side, Adan Madrigal of AnonyMuzic Productions is attempting to create a great song in hopes Kelly will use it.
“My goal is to help him put [the song] in a form that is fitting for a soundtrack,” Madrigal said.
Madrigal said the opportunities for Mills are a good showcase for Toledo.
The music is most important, Mills said.
“Music is my life,” Mills said. “It’s not what I do, it’s who I am. I live and breathe music and it’s never-ending. I never get bored with it.”