The Black Lillies
600 14th St NW
Washington, DC, 20005
Doors 6:30 PM / Show 8:00 PM
This event is all ages
Watch & Listen
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 mainstay on 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, as Vanity 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 Tigers.
Scott Miller came into the national spotlight in the mid nineties as leader of the Knoxville-based band The V-Roys; signed and produced by Steve Earle for his E-Squared label. After releasing two critically acclaimed albums, The V-Roys disbanded. Miller then signed to Sugar Hill Records and released several highly praised recording with his new backing band, The Commonwealth. Most recently he has recorded and released music through his own F.A.Y. Records label.
The last few years have seen big changes for Miller. He left his long-time adopted home city of Knoxville, TN to return to the family farm to tend a herd of beef cattle, look after his elderly parents and set up a new touring base from his hometown of Staunton, VA. During this time of transition and scaled down touring, Miller teamed up with old-time fiddle maven Rayna Gellert adding another sonic layer to his repertoire. The two released a mini-ablum titled “Co-Dependents” and continue to tour together and collaborate often.
For his newest cd, “Big Big World,” Miller tapped Nashville guitarist and producer Doug Lancio (Patty Griffin, John Hiatt). Miller’s avid fans will realize the title phrase points to the artist’s new musical horizons, stretching beyond any of his previous works and reflecting his significant growth as a songwriter.
Miller’s writing is informed and fueled by his connection to his family land in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley. He truly is the sum of his ‘Southern place’: rural imagery, sin and salvation, defiant, rebellious, pathos and humor. He is currently working on new music, stepping up his touring with the Commonwealth’s Ladies Auxiliary (Rayna Gellert and Bryn Davies) and finding a way to merge his life on the farm with his songwriting. “History is my jam”, states Miller. “The story is already there and all you need to do is find some connection with it and try to connect that to the listener.”
Miller recently collaborated with filmmaker James Weems (Jason Isbell) and photographer Glen Rose to produce the mini-documentary “Goin’ Home” which explores Miller’s personal and musical journey since returning to the family farm.
$20.00 - $25.00
For any wheelchair or ADA needs, please contact the Box Office in advance of the performance at (202)-769-0122.
Please note that the front row of tables and chairs will be cleared for this show to create a general admission Pit. Be advised that there may be some seated areas where vision of the stage is obstructed.