First/Last-The Black Lillies

July 9, 2013

“Born in the rumbling cab of a stone truck and aged in the oak of Tennessee’s smoky night haunts, The Black Lillies have quickly risen to the forefront of the Americana scene. Founded by multi-instrumentalist and vocalist Cruz Contreras (co-founder of Robinella and the CCstringband), The Black Lillies have created their own unique brand of country, roots, rock and blues via Appalachia. The group, formed in 2008, also includes electric guitar and pedal steel whiz Tom Pryor and drummer Jamie Cook, both formerly of the everybodyfields, bassist Robert Richards, and vocalist Trisha Gene Brady. The Black Lillies continue to tour non-stop, and without a doubt, they’ll soon be appearing in a town near you. That’s a relative term, of course, but trust us on this – they’re worth the drive, however far it is, because you’ll leave feeling like you’ve witnessed an old-fashion Southern tent revival. These songs will haunt your thoughts long after the curtain closes, rattling through your head like a crooked screen door slaps against its frame when a storm is coming.”

Check out the band at their official Website, Facebook, MySpace, Twitter and YouTube. They hit Pittsburgh this Thursday touring behind their latest release, “Runaway Freeway Blues“. My thanks to Cruz Contreras (Guitar/Vocals) for taking the time to participate in this edition for First/Last.

  • The first album you ever bought?
  • I bought two albums at the same time, “Weird Al” Yankovic and Young MC!
  • Your last album bought?
  • Made a stop at the record store just before heading out on this tour and I grabbed a bunch: John Prine, Bruce Springsteen, The White Stripes, Cat Stevens, Gram Parsons…it was right after Record Store Day so they gave me a bunch of record label samplers, too, lots of indie rock.
  • Favorite album of all time?
  • Hmm. It’s a tie between “Appetite for Destruction” by Guns n’ Roses and “Nebraska” by Bruce Springsteen.
  • Least favorite/most disappointing album?
  • Guns n’ Roses, “Chinese Democracy”.
  • First concert attended?
  • My brother is a fiddle player and I grew up attending a bunch of fiddle competitions and jams with him. The first real concert was a bluegrass show by the McClain Family Band.
  • Last concert?
  • I had a pretty wild week in which I saw Widespread Panic twice, then a co-bill show with Merle Haggard and Kris Kristofferson.
  • Favorite concert ever?
  • Metallica!
  • Least favorite concert?
  • I generally try not to say anything negative about other musicians, but Kanye West at Bonnaroo was spectacularly lame. Showed up really late, had a bad attitude and then didn’t put on a strong performance at all.
  • Any thoughts, experiences about Pittsburgh?
  • The Cubs generally have a chance when they play Pittsburgh! (Don’t hate me, I’m a Cubs fan…can’t help it.) Seriously, though, it is a beautiful river town in Appalachia, which makes it a great town for music.
  • Thanks, Cruz. It’s all good with the Cubs. Are they in first place? Thought, not.