New single “Hard to Please” available now

Our single “Hard to Please” is now available for purchase via iTunes! Get it here and tell all of your friends to get it, too! (And leave a review while you’re at it!) If you’re a Spotify user, you can also check it out there. Let us know what you think!

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We’re heading back to Steamboat Springs!

First week in January – Six days, 40 bands, a world-class ski resort – does it really get any better than the MusicFest? The MusicFest draws thousands of ski-lovin’, music-lovin’ folks to the snow swept peaks of Colorado each January.

The largest group ski trip of its kind in the nation, the MusicFest brings the finest Texas and Americana music to the world-class ski resort of Steamboat, Colorado for a week full of sport and song. The festival boasts a stunning roster that includes both legends and rising talents alike.

Dickson Productions has over 30 years of experience as the premier travel package provider. With Dickson Productions working on your behalf, you can hit the slopes and also get tons of music favorites at wholesale prices. All lodging accommodations for the MusicFest are located ski-in/ski-out or within minutes of the mountain base, and participants personally choose all the options.

Want to walk out the front door onto the slopes? A hot tub on the back porch? A slope side luxury suite or a penthouse? A MusicFest stage in your lodge or steps away? No problem – it’s all part of building your exclusive MusicFest package, the vacation of a lifetime. And there’s every level to choose from to satisfy your taste in lodging, music, price and the ultimate Rocky Mountain vacation.

After a day on the slopes, what really happens at the MusicFest?

The MusicFest has long been heralded for its jam-packed schedule of events and concerts. Over 130 hours of live performances take place during the MusicFest, an amazing opportunity to see as many great Texas and Americana artists as you can handle (and those are the “planned” performances).

Shows are held in a multitude of diverse venues including a stage resembling an old barn/hunting lodge, a huge dancehall/tent, an intimate pub, an old saloon, two luxurious ballrooms, and an upscale country club setting complete with plush seating, and a fire place (a “must” experience)!

No matter your style of music and setting to experience it, there’s a venue for everyone’s likes. Whether you’ve come to kick up your heels and party all night, or prefer to soak up the music in a lower key and comfortable seated setting (or anything in-between), MusicFest has you covered. Drift from one venue to the next, or just sit back and enjoy that ONE special venue that fits your style with like minded friends – that’s the beauty of MusicFest – a truly unique and exceptional sporting and musical experience with one thing in common; a grounded and REAL experience with a community that embraces its lifestyle and state of mind.

MusicFest Package Price Includes:

  • 6 days/5 nights at Steamboat’s premier lodging – You choose location and amenities including ski-in/ski-out, fully equipped kitchens, fireplaces, hot tubs, short stroll to MusicFest activities and more.
  • Four full day lift passes – World-class skiing and boarding on Steamboat’s five interconnected mountains.
  • Exclusive MusicFest credentials for over 50 live performances in intimate venues, luxury ballrooms, saloons, the Big MusicFest Tent, Outdoor Stage, Historic Theatre, participants’ “ON AIR” media lounge, and much more!
  • The highly acclaimed MusicFest Artists’ “Tribute to a Legend” – Grand Ballroom show,  past honorees include Robert Earl Keen, Jr., Dean Dillon, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Billy Joe Shaver, Lee Ann Womack, Guy Clark, Johnny Gimble and Family, Leon Russell, Kevin Welch, Rodney Crowell, Towns Van Zandt, Lost Gonzo Band and Radney Foster. (Limited complimentary tickets will be available January 6th at 9:00am MST.)
  • Official MusicFest information guide – MusicFest collectibles, credentials, pocket schedule, the Discount Savings Book including a “non-skier” guide, and additional discounts!
  • Complimentary MusicFest Magazine – While supplies last! Click here for free subscription.
  • Two new MusicFest venues – Dickson Productions is always taking this unique festival to the next level – comparable to no other.
    .

Plus, there’s always:

  • 24 hour professional on-site staff
  • 50% off ski and board rentals
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The Black Lillies refuse to settle, deliver ‘Hard to Please’ Oct 2

In February 2015, the Black Lillies seemed poised to sail through the recording process of their fourth studio album. They had studio time booked, a GRAMMY award-winning producer lined up, a string of high-energy sold-out shows in their wake, and a fan-funding campaign that surpassed its goal. There were only two problems: first, on the eve of the band’s first pre-production session, two veteran members announced that they were moving on to pursue other interests. And second, the band only had three songs ready to go — nowhere near enough for a full-length album.

Hard to PleaseDetermined to live up to the band’s “always expanding and evolving” (Vanity Fair) nature, hard-touring front man Cruz Contreras was unwilling to lose any ground in the face of these challenges. With deadlines looming, a well-timed snowstorm afforded Contreras the opportunity to hunker down in a basement-level studio to re-group and get to work penning 10 songs for the roots, country and soul-inspired ‘Hard To Please,’ out Friday, Oct. 2 via Attack Monkey/Thirty Tigers.

Such focused writing sessions were new for Contreras, whose previous songs were all written as inspiration struck. In fact, the process of creating ‘Hard to Please’ afforded the band several new experiences. It marked their first time bringing in an outside producer, GRAMMY award-winning Ryan Hewitt (Avett Brothers, Johnny Cash, The Red Hot Chili Peppers). Recording outside of their hometown for the first time, the band set up camp in Nashville at the historic House of Blues Studio D.

It also exemplifies an expansion for Contreras, who learned to rely a little more upon his remaining band members – calling in an assist from drummer Bowman Townsend while writing the title track and even handing lead vocal reins over to Trisha Gene Brady for the appropriately titled song “The First Time.”

A last-minute decision to bring in new players for the recording session, rather than rely on the two departing members, paid off: the incredible chemistry between the three remaining band members and bassist Bill Reynolds (Band of Horses), pedal steel player Matt Smith (Amy Ray, Shannon Whitworth, The Honeycutters) and 20-year-old Nashville guitar phenom Daniel Donato resulted in studio magic.

With additional contributions from an array of guest musicians, ‘Hard To Please’ illustrates the band’s diversity both sonically and instrumentally, seamlessly mixing saxophones, trumpets and trombones with steel guitars, banjos and mandolin.

Enthused by the expansion of their musical family and inspired to incorporate the album’s lush depth of instrumentation, The Black Lillies expanded their touring outfit as well. The band is now a six-piece featuring multi-instrumentalists Sam Quinn (the everybodyfields), Mike Seal (Jeff Sipe Trio, Larkin Poe) and Jonathan Keeney (Robinella).

Hailed as “buzzworthy, genre-mashing roots music” by Rolling Stone Country and praised everywhere from The Wall Street Journal to Entertainment Weekly, The Black Lillies’ eclectic sound is reflected their raucous live show, which prompted NPR’s Ann Powers to name them a “top pick” at SXSW 2014. It has also earned them festival slots from Bonnaroo to Stagecoach, as well as the honor of playing The Grand Ole Opry more than any other independent band in history.

‘Hard To Please’ follows the band’s 2013 ‘Runaway Freeway Blues’ album, which climbed the Billboard country charts, landed on more than a dozen “Best-Of” lists, and dominated Americana radio, spending a whopping three months in the Top 5.

Fall tour dates will be announced in the coming weeks. For more on The Black Lillies, please visit theblacklillies.com.

‘Hard To Please’ track List:

1. Hard to Please

2. That’s the Way it Goes Down

3. Mercy

4. The First Time

5. Bound to Roam

6. Dancin’

7. Desire

8. 40 Days

9. Broken Shore

10. Fade

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Rolling Stone premieres title track from “Hard to Please”

We can finally give you a first taste of the new album, courtesy of Rolling Stone Country. According to writer Andrew Leahey, “Hard to Please” (the song) is a “funky barn burner shot through with blasts of brass and blues guitar” and Hard to Please (the album) is “a rallying cry.” The album comes out Oct. 2 via Thirty Tigers, but take a little listen to the title track now and let us know what you think!

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The Black Lillies join Red 11 Music and Paquin Entertainment

(NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE) – Knoxville based Americana / Country band, The Black Lillies have signed an exclusive booking agreement with Red 11 Music (USA booking) and Paquin Entertainment (Canadian booking).

Named as one of Rolling Stone Magazine’s “10 Artists You Need to Know,” The Black Lillies are best known for mixing folk, honky-tonk country, and gospel to create their own hybrid of traditional sound.  As the only independent artist to grace the Grand Ole Opry stage more than thirty times, The Black Lillies have also been invited to festivals as widespread as Bonnaroo, Rochester Jazz Fest, Stagecoach, High Sierra and SXSW.

We are ecstatic to be working with such an incredibly talented live band.  The dedication, passion and emphasis they put into their music, fan base and live experience is a perfect fit for our agency,” said Jon Folk, co-owner of Red 11 Music.

Red 11 Music is a boutique booking agency exclusively representing over 35 national touring artists with offices and staff in Nashville, TN and Austin, TX.  In addition to The Black Lillies, the agency represents Turnpike Troubadours, Steve Wariner, Cody Canada & the Departed, John Corbett, Cody Johnson, Jason Boland & the Stragglers, Chris Knight, American Aquarium and more.

Founded in 1985, Paquin Entertainment Group is a full-service, diversified entertainment company, and home to four divisions: Artist Management, Artists Agency, Theatre & Film and Corporate Services. Since the beginning, the Artists Agency roster, which includes over 150 artists, has proudly represented world-class artists on a national and international level, spanning from music to theatre to dance. Operating under the direction of Julien Paquin and Todd Jordan, the success of the Artists Agency division is built on creating and implementing tour strategies that deliver successful and sustaining careers for artists, including Tegan & Sara, Old Crow Medicine Show Serena Ryder, Shakey Graves and Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet.

For more information on booking THE BLACK LILLIES in the United States please contact JON FOLK with Red 11 Music in Nashville, TN at 615-457-2414 or jfolk@red11music.com. For booking in Canada, contact Julien Paquin in Toronto, julien@paquinartistsagency.com or 416-962-8885.

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Album update

We’ve just returned from a quick tour of Texas, Virginia, and North Carolina with stops at Old Settler’s Music Festival and MerleFest. The past couple of weeks have included such events as eating “street tacos” at a backyard party (and debating what makes a taco a “street taco” vs a regular taco), shenanigans on a zipline (someone got stuck in the middle, but we won’t name names), Bowman judging a chili cookoff in Texas (we’re glad he was hanging with his parents that afternoon and NOT jumping into the van with us), a hot tub hang that may have run a little late and caused our hosts to institute a curfew (sorry, Margaret!), a couple of incredible events with some PledgeMusic supporters (a lunchtime acoustic concert in Virginia and a barbecue dinner in North Carolina), and lots of good music.

It was great to get back out on the road, but our minds were never too far from this new album that we’re finalizing. We had an opportunity to listen to the mixes of the songs over the past couple of weeks, to live with them a bit and figure out what tweaks might need to be made. Next week, we’ll meet back up with our producer Ryan and work through our punchlist. And once that’s done … it’s on to mastering!

At the same time, we’re finalizing artwork and lining up release details. It’s pretty amazing how much work remains to be done – it doesn’t end once you leave the studio! We want to make sure we’re giving this all of the attention it deserves so that we’re setting it up for as much success as possible.

On that note – you may have noticed that our release date has shifted. When we started this process, we planned to release in early summer. As we dug in, a few things happened that caused us to realize that in order to do this right, we needed to wait until early fall. That will allow us the proper amount of time to set up all of the marketing a distribution channels so that we can get press coverage, radio airplay, the album in stores at the right time, etc. It’s really hard to know that we’re almost done but that we still have a few months to go until we send this off into the world – but it’s the right thing to do. You’ll still get it earlier than the general public, we promise! But you will need to hang on just a few more months. We anticipate an October release at this point and will be finalizing the exact release date in the next couple of weeks. Thank you for bearing with us … we really do believe it will be worth the wait!

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Ch-ch-changes

More than anything, we Black Lillies are a family. There’s a bond that has been formed between us that can’t be described, other than to say that at the end of the day we love each other.

We know that our bandmates have our backs, no matter what. And so, when a member of the band decides that it is time to embark on a new adventure, the rest of us rise up to support that person. It’s hard to come to terms with the sense of loss we feel when that happens, but ultimately we want to see these people who we love so strongly thrive; we want to see them find their ultimate happiness.

As we enter this next phase of The Black Lillies, in which we are poised to make what we feel will be our greatest album yet, we face some changes. In the coming months, you’ll see some new faces, new people who will join our musical family. And we will also wish a fond farewell to two people: Tom Pryor and Robert “Bobby Dix” Richards.

This will come as a surprise to some of you – but not to those who understand where we’ve come from and what we’ve been through together. We’ve played approximately 1000 shows together; we’ve slept on floors (and in our first tour, even in cardboard boxes … long story!); we’ve shared the highest highs and the lowest lows. Living and working in a touring band like ours is an amazing, exciting, fantastic experience filled with friends in far-flung places, numerous adventures, and plenty of inside jokes. But it can also be grueling, exhausting, lonely, and difficult. And sometimes, someone will decide that life is too short to hold off on the adventure that they‘ve been dreaming of. They might find that instead of a home on the road, they want, simply, a home.

And while it saddens us to see them go, we support them. Because that’s what you do for your family.

We have nothing but love and the greatest respect for Tom (and maybe a little jealousy, because he’s moving to Colorado and hitting the ski slopes) and Robert (who will be pursuing new musical endeavors). This isn’t goodbye; it’s just so long.

Rest assured that The Black Lillies are stronger than ever. We’re still pushing forward, releasing an entirely fan-funded album this summer, and we’ll continue to travel to towns far and wide to play our music for you. We couldn’t be more excited about what the future holds, and we’re ready to dive right in.

We’ll see you on the road!

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Road Poems Vol. 1

Neglect. It’s all I can ever think about in our first few days back from a tour. Neglect of the bills and the dust that collect like unwanted house guests in my otherwise unused bedroom. Neglect of the many hometown relationships that slowly deteriorate as new ones are formed all across the country. Neglect of the time, as it inevitably winds into months and years away from home chasing this dream.
Hopefully, the neglect is quickly remedied. The bills are paid, the dust is (sometimes) swept, and the relationships tended to as best as they can. The time never returns, but to be honest, it is rare that I imagine a better way to have spent it.
I have, among those already mentioned, of late neglected two very important things. First of all, this blog. Second of all, poetry. The former probably comes as little surprise to any of you who have followed this sporadic internet publication, but the later probably raises a few questions.
Since I wrote my first road poem on Wednesday, November 13, 2013 in Portland, OR, I have occasionally kept a log of the ever increasing number of shows I have played with The Black Lillies in poetry form. I had originally intended to keep a classic road diary, but found after one entry that the constant bouncing of the van and my general laziness did not square well with excessive daily writing. Thus, I began writing poetry, mostly for my own enjoyment and memory, but occasionally to share on my personal internet face page to promote gigs. I say all this to explain why, as some of you may have wondered, on our current PledgeMusic campaign there is an option to purchase some hand-written “Boetry” from me. “Boetry” is a nice combination of “Bowman” and “Poetry” Chyna came up with that I like because 1) It sounds pretty righteous. and 2) It hopefully keeps those who have seriously studied and practiced the art of poetry from taking offense at my shoddy, uneducated works.
Anywho, I thought I would share a select few of these road poems in the hopes that if you like them you might purchase a custom one to help fund the new record, or, if you think they are rubbish, spend your money on a PledgeMusic premium more to your liking. Either way, thanks for all the support. Cheers to the year ahead and a brand new Black Lillies’ album! -Bowman

City: Portland, OR
Date: Wednesday, November 13, 2013
Venue: The Grey Eagle Saloon

Portland,
You make me want to start my own indie rock troupe
And sell my own granola.
Both called “Bowmanola”.
I’ll fall in love with a barista
Name our daughter after you
And she’ll grow up, move to San Francisco,
And never speak to any of us
Again.
– a poem by Bowman Townsend

City: Mount Vernon, WA
Date: Friday, November 15, 2013
Venue: Mcintyre Hall

Mount Vernon,
So little time, I know not what you’re about,
Except biblically I’d call you “Vernon on the Mount”.
A bleak stretch of highway, back alley load in,
Play gig, load out,
Holiday Inn.
– a poem by Bowman Townsend

City: Livingston, MT
Date: Monday, November, 18, 2013
Venue: The Buckhorn Theatre

Livingston,
By living a ton, I awoke as the walking dead,
Tongue dry as dust, with aches in head,
Would love to sleep, all day in bed,
But we’ve 1300 miles ahead,
Damnit.
– a poem by Bowman Townsend

City: Memphis, TN
Date: Thursday, November 21, 2013
Venue: The Hi-Tone

Memphis,
Pre-show bar-b-que dinner,
I now slouch over drums,
Fat and Glistening,
Like ribs over a
Pit.
– a poem by Bowman Townsend

City: Shepherdstown, WV
Date: Friday, February 28, 2013
Venue: Shepherdstown Opera House

Shepherdstown,
A sold out house of sheep, in need of a shepherd,
But rowdy and fierce, like cantankerous leopards.
A block of cheese, was fuel we need,
to make the cosmic rock flow.
Ears start to bleed, and feet are then freed,
the crowd were wolves in sheeps’ clothes.
– a poem by Bowman Townsend

City: Sellersville, PA
Date: March 6, 2013
Venue: Sellersville Theatre (w/ YARN)

Sellersville,
Bring your knitting needles and flower vase,
YARN and Black Lillies will rock your face.
Groove like butter, sound like lace,
Sticks to eardrums, musical paste,
Theatre’s a turkey, needs a rock’n’roll baste,
YARN cooks it up, Lillies season to taste.

City: Austin, TX
Date: Wednesday, March 12, 2013
Venue: SXSW

Austin,
“I AM in a band! How could you tell?!
Was it my white van?! My merch to sell?!
Did you see my picture in a music mag?!
Notice my vest or messenger bag?!”

None of those things, it was just a guess,
Afterall it is Austin and south by southwest.
– a poem by Bowman Townsend

 

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DelFest!

This is a festival we’ve had on our wish list for a long, long time … and we are now thrilled to announce that we will be making our debut performance at DelFest over Memorial Day weekend in Cumberland, Maryland! Tickets are on sale now and we certainly hope you’ll consider joining us there. Check out the DelFest website for complete details.

 

 

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New album coming in 2015 – pre-order now!

We’re thrilled to announce our fourth studio album, coming in early summer 2015! We’re in the midst of pre-production right now, and we’ll officially head into the studio in February. We’re working with an immensely talented and GRAMMY Award-winning producer, Ryan Hewitt (Avett Brothers, Johnny Cash, Brandi Carlile, Red Hot Chili Peppers) and we’ve got some great material lined up. Which is where you come in …

You can make this whole thing possible! Pre-order the new album now to receive it before the general public. Plus, we’ve got a whole host of exclusives available – from custom jewelry made from our strings, to backstage passes to the Grand Ole Opry, to hanging with the band at an amusement park, to private shows! Check them all out here and find the one that suits you best.

New music + badass producer + no rules = the best Black Lillies album to date. So here’s to a new record, a new year, music, adventures, challenges met, and this crazy mind blowing journey! Thank you for your pledges and support.

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