A new sound and a new lineup
We haven't heard The Black Lillies at The Ark for a while, but that's because they've been busy. They've had some lineup changes, and they have a new album, "Stranger to Me," that incorporates a whole smorgasbord of new influences. "Paring down the lineup has given these guys space to shine and grow and evolve, and the chemistry is incredible,” says mandolin-shredder/frontman Cruz Contreras. "The guys have become not just sidemen or guns for hire; they’re invested. Their opinions count, and their creativity is as much a part of this record as mine. There are songs that I wrote; that Sam (Quinn, a veteran of the Americana group The Everybodyfields) wrote; that we wrote in any combination and all of us together. It’s pretty simple, when you get down to that romantic notion of having a band. We rehearse together, we travel together, we hang out together because we’re dedicated, and I think the music is really showing that now. For me, it’s been years of learning to set your ego aside, but experience teaches you that you have to." Come check out this new creative direction from one of Americana's most exciting bands.