Black Lillies set to headline Levitt Music Series

Published 5:50 pm Tuesday, August 28, 2018

When the Black Lillies hit the Levitt stage on Thursday, they will be the seventh act to headline the music series this year in downtown Middlesboro. The band is in the early stages of their tour to support their upcoming album “Stranger to Me.”

Prior to their arrival in Middlesboro, the Black Lillies will have made a stop in Nashville, Tennessee. After the Levitt concert, they will be headed to Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

The band uses “tight vocal harmonies searing fiddles and undeniable charisma” to treat audiences to “a soulful amalgamation of country, folk and blues treated with a funky edge.”

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Known for “breathing new life into Appalachian folk and Americana,” the Black Lillies recorded their debut album “Whiskey Angels” in 2009 in front man and lead-songwriter Cruz Contreras’ living room.

According to their website, that album covered a wide range of topics including vulnerable themes concerning Contreras’ divorce and his departure from the band he shared with his wife.

“The album…resonated with listeners and paved the way for the entirely fan-funded follow-up sophomore album ‘100 Miles of Wreckage’ in 2011,” the website states.

The Black Lillies have seen their notoriety increase following a major lineup change in 2016 with the introduction of Sam Quinn and Dustin Schaefer. The two joined Contreras and longtime drummer Bowman Townsend to establish a new presence in the music industry.

The Black Lillies have been ranked as the Best Americana Band by the Metro Pulse in Knoxville, Tennessee. They have performed at high quality festivals including Bonnaroo, New Orleans Jazz Fest, Stagecoach, MerleFest and Pickathon. They have also played at the Grand Ole Opry.

Their success even earned them a spot on the “10 New Artists You Need to Know” in 2014 by the Rolling Stone. American Songwriter named their album “Runaway Freeway Blues” one of their top 50 albums of 2013.