Band Members: Mayda Miller (vocals, guitar), Michael Bland (drums),Cory Eischen (keyboards, samples), Andy Mark (bass), Jacob Hanson (guitar)
St. Paul’s Mayda Miller (or simply Mayda) comes to Voltage hot on the heals of her 2009 EP Eyes on the Water which was released digitally on Michael Bland’s Sonic Matrimony Collective label in November. (Bland, Mayda’s drummer, is best known as the drummer for Prince during The New Power Generation years and even more recently as the drummer for Soul Asylum.)
I first encountered Mayda when she played acoustically at the Mad Ripple Hootenanny in 2009. Those who were seeing her for the first time that night will never forget when she strapped on her blue guitar for the wonderfully risqué “Good Girls,” which appears on her latest EP. (That song is a great starting point for a new listener, and you should check it out here.)
Though “Good Girls” is an catchy and clever acoustic ditty, Mayda is known for tearing it up at electric shows: exact, energetic and in control, she is an attention-getter and attention-keeper.
I’m proud of myself for making it halfway through this profile without mentioning Mayda is a petite and unassuming 4 foot10 inch tall Korean woman, but seems at least twice that tall when she hits the stage. In person she exudes a calm and gentle confidence.
CD Baby recommends Mayda to music lovers who like Black Eyed Peas, Grace Jones, or Prince, and that’s a start. Her power pop, and both acoustic electric alternative hip-hop have mainstream appeal, but are more than engaging and intriguing enough to endear her to the most critically-minded music fan as well.
Of all the other comparisons I’ve read in reviews, perhaps Mark Brenden put it best in the fall in the Minnesota Daily when describing her new EP, saying it contains “the vocal prowess and Aretha Franklin-level emotion” as well as the “guitar goddess-ness of Nancy Wilson.”
However you describe her, Mayda and her band are a brilliant addition to the Voltage line-up bound to add cutting-edge flair to their segment of the show that’s bound to get the heads of the crowd bobbing.
Mayda and her band will be outfitted for Voltage by veteran local designer Laura Fulk.