Born in the rumbling cab of a stone truck, raised in Old North Knoxville, and aged in the oak of Knoxville’s smoky night haunts, The Black Lillies have come to the forefront of the East Tennessee Americana scene in little more than a year.
Founded by multi instrumentalist and vocalist Cruz Contreras, co-founder of Robinella and the CCstringband, and singer-guitarist Leah Gardner (Maid Rite String Band), The Black Lillies have created their own unique brand of country, roots, rock and blues via Appalachia.
The group, formed in 2008, also includes bassist Taylor Coker (Robinella and the CCstringband), electric guitar and pedal steel whiz Tom Pryor (the everybodyfields, Sam Quinn and the Japan Ten), drummer Jamie Cook (the everybodyfields), and vocalist Trisha Gene Brady.
In April, The Black Lillies released Whiskey Angel, their debut recording. The album was recorded live in Cruz’s living room by Sparklehorse drummer Scott Minor, and features Billy Contreras on fiddle.
This summer, The Black Lillies received critical acclaim for their performances at the Bonnaroo Music + Arts Festival and on the live radio broadcast of Tennessee Shines. The host of Tennessee Shines, legendary songwriter and musician Jim Lauderdale, called The Black Lillies “a true Americana supergroup.
”The Black Lillies have developed their own style of Americana music in true East Tennessee fashion. They may not fit any industry norm, but where they’re from, that’s a good thing.
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