The Black Lillies
The Black Lillies have never backed down from a challenge. Proudly independent since their formation, they are always pushing forward and evolving, letting the inspiration and music take focus. That drive has led them to become one of Americana's biggest success stories: an internationally-renowned band of roots-rockers, armed with songs that blur the boundaries between folk, soul, red dirt country, blues and rock.With four albums under their belts, the band has been a mainstayon radio and album sales charts, promoting each release in the blue-collar tradition: by hitting the highway, averaging 175 gigs per year. That road-warrior work ethic has become as integral to the band's success as founder Cruz Contreras' songwriting, taking the band from coast to coast, border to border, and even country to country. And they have racked up accolades as easily as the miles on their Sprinter, winning praise from outlets including American Songwriter, Rolling Stone, NPR, CMT, Wall Street Journal and Billboard.The Black Lillies have enthralled audiences at festivals including Bonnaroo Music + Arts, New Orleans Jazz Fest, MerleFest, Stagecoach, CMA Fest & Fan Fair, and Pickathon. Equally at home on theatre stages and in rock clubs, they were one of the first independent bands to play the Grand Ole Opry and have since returned dozens of times - sharing that stage with big-budget bands and major-label mainstreamers. They've chased down success on their terms, ignoring the trends of Nashville and focusing on a sound that, asVanity Fair notes, "continues to cross generations and musical genres –country, folk, blues and a touch of the Dead, for good measure." After a major lineup change in 2016 following the departure of two longterm members, bassist/vocalist Sam Quinn joined the fold. A musician with his own cult following due to his role as one half of the driving force behind indie folk darlings the everybodyfields as well as his solo work, he initially signed on to fill in for four shows ... but the chemistry was undeniable, and he stayed. Soon after, guitar slinger/vocalist Dustin Schaefer, fresh off a stint with Micky and the Motorcars and a singer/songwriter in his own right, jumped into the mix. And suddenly, the group went from a band with one songwriter to a band with three – plus a drummer, longtime member Bowman Townsend, who helps with song arrangements. After eight years, four albums, and over a thousand shows, The Black Lillies have evolved from a group of people playing Cruz’s music to a REAL BAND – a group of collaborators who spend as much time together off the road as they do on the road; where everyone contributes and weighs in on the ultimate vision; where a song could be written by any member (or multiple members); where the music takes priority over absolutely everything else. They’re building on that foundation of strong roots rock and creating something brand new. Even classic Black Lillies songs sound fresh and reimagined in their hands – with lush, layered harmonies, a funky edge, and the undeniable chemistry that radiates from the musicians on stage. With a new configuration, new songs and the same dedication to touring, the Lillies continue to sink their roots deep into the musical landscape. The band will release their new album, Stranger to Me, fall 2018 on Thirty Tiger.
The Meadows Brothers
Ian and Dustin Meadows have been playing music together for most of their lives. In 2011, they made the decision to leave the band they were playing in, and strike out on their own as a duo. Their distinct brand of roots music draws inspiration from a huge list of influences; combining Folk, Blues, Country, and Rock n’ roll genres into what The Boston Globe calls “An engagingly twangy sibling sound all their own.”
The brothers’ original songs; which they typically write together, have been praised for their emotive, relatable lyrics and memorable hooks. Several of their tunes have won awards, and been covered by international acts.
Over the past few years the brothers have played hundreds of shows all over their native New England, the Midwest and Great Lakes regions, and down the Eastern seaboard , continuing to hone their craft, while making new friends and fans along the way. While Dustin was a sophomore in high school in 2012 they released a self-titled CD, in 2013 created a home-recorded, screen printed demo CD affectionately titled “Homegrown”, and recently released “Won’t Be Troubled”
Praise for “Won’t Be Troubled” ” I am a sucker for a song that really tells a story. The brothers have a keen ability to really rock, whether it’s with just two guitars and two voices or introducing percussion and electric guitar, but it’s when they bring it down slow and mellow that the harmonies and tenderness of their music shines incredibly bright. Lonesome Pine Company is a great story song, the narrative is easy to follow and really portrays a sense of working in the wilderness, the loneliness and emotion that ensures, or perhaps something even deeper embedded in the tale. Brian Carroll, Redline Roots
“With vivid storytelling, each track becomes a journey into a different place. The teamwork from the brothers is really felt in this album. The guitars feed off each other and the vocals pair together perfectly during the harmonies. While Won’t Be Troubled is not straight from the heartland, it comes close enough to match for being hundreds of miles away.” - Sean Lynch, WSBU