The Black Lillies
Once upon a time, The Black Lillies were one of the favorite Americana bands in the Four Corners. Rooted firmly at the intersection of country, folk and roots rock, the band served as a vehicle for the songwriting genius of its founder Cruz Contreras. And that formula worked. Albums like “Hard to Please,” “Runaway Freeway Blues” and “100 Miles of Wreckage” breathed life into Contreras’ songs like “Smokestack Lady,” “Gold and Roses,” “Two Hearts Down” and “Whiskey Angel,” all of which became staples on KSUT.
All that changed in recent years, though. The band shrunk from a six-piece to a quartet. The lean, rock & roll machine now includes bassist Sam Quinn (a former Merlefest award-winning songwriter in his own right and one-time member of The Everybodyfields), guitarist Dustin Schaefer (a former member of Mickey & the Motorcars), and drummer Bowman Townsend. No longer is Contreras the sole leader and singer in the band; now every member shares in its vision, as heard on their new record, “Stranger to Me.” That album is much more of an indie-rock affair, with echoes of Wilco and Steely Dan noticeable throughout.
Opening is the Durango bluegrass trio, The StillHouse Junkies, fresh from the release of a new EP earlier this spring and a third place finish at the Telluride Bluegrass Festival band competition in 2018.