Black Lillies, Special guests the Deadly Gentlemen - 8/16
at City Winery Chicago
WNUR welcomes Black Lillies
About Black Lillies
Black Lillies front man Cruz Contreras knows a thing or two about the road.
His band was conceived upon it, during that year he spent driving a truck after losing both his wife and his old group, Robinella and the CCstringband. Its ties were strengthened, its sound sharpened, its skills honed, in countless shows along the way.
And the band’s new album, Runaway Freeway Blues, was conceived there. When the Lillies weren’t playing their 200-odd gigs during 2012, they were in Wild Chorus Studio in their hometown of Knoxville, Tenn., working with Scott Minor of Sparklehorse to craft a beautiful ode to restless spirits and rambling hearts. Rooted in the mud-rutted switchbacks of Appalachia, Runaway Freeway Blues is the sound of a band that’s become something of a phenomenon across the country.
Contreras and his bandmates – harmony vocalist Trisha Gene Brady, multi-instrumentalist Tom Pryor, bass player Robert Richards and drummer Jamie Cook – have grown from a few friends sitting around campfires and living rooms to a band that shows up in far-flung cities where folks to whom they’ve never played before already know the words to the songs. Eschewing record labels, they still managed to put a track from the last record (“Same Mistakes,” off of 100 Miles of Wreckage) in Country Music Television’s top 12 requested videos for four months. (Its predecessor, “Two Hearts Down,” was a top-requested video on CMT for three months.) Despite trafficking in a richer, more authentic brand of country and Americana than what gets played on mainstream country radio, they’ve still been invited to perform at the Grand Ole Opry more than a dozen times – a record for an independent act.
About The Deadly Gentlemen
Deadly Gentlemen started out a couple years ago as an experimental spoken word bluegrass band, but they’ve changed the game plan this time around. Now they mostly play epic folk and grasscore. Their most recent CD is called Carry Me To Home.
There are five band members: Greg Liszt, banjo and vocals; Stash Wyslouch, guitar and vocals; Mike Barnett, fiddle and vocals; Dominick Leslie, mandolin and vocals; and Sam Grisman, double bass and vocals.
Instead of having a lead singer, we use a nonstop orchestration of somewhat unconventional vocals, with everybody in the band doing everything they can. Expect a lot of three-part harmony singing, group shouting, really dense rhymes and an almost rap-like phrasing.