Music To Quaff To: Mountain Edition
I’ve recently moved up to the area (and luckily met with Bear) from East Tennessee. One thing that I miss is the amazing local music scene. There is *some* here, don’t get me wrong, but driving 45 minutes to a venue, going to a coffee house in the early evening, or Sunday afternoon jazz just isn’t the same as being able to head out any night of the week, traveling five minutes to a downtown and picking one of five, ten, or fifteen shows ranging from prog-rock to americana to punk to blues to metal.
I’ve excitedly followed some local bands as they made their way beyond the area and into regional and national tours. I’ve been exposed to some amazing artists on their own tours. Some have even made it to the elusive, striven for, capital B and T Big Time.
One such band is the Black Lillies. The frontman of the band, Cruze Contreras was once the CC part of Robinella and the CC String Band. After they broke up, Cruze went on to start the Black Lillies, who ended up doing quite a few wide-spread tours. About a year ago, I went to a friend’s bachelorette party the night of a BL concert, and we ended up at the same bar. Cruze was a sweetie and bought my friend a drink. To make it even more personal (granted, sometimes it seemed that everyone in East TN played an instrument), Trisha Jean, the female vocalist in the band, is my best friend’s mom’s best friend’s daughter.
Right now, the Black Lillies are an independent band and have a music video on CMT! Now before you deride it as ‘country’ I will put my reputation on the line to let you know that they aren’t your conservative C&W band. The Black Lillies come from the East TN culture of subversive, anti-The-Man americana that Appalachia tends to produce. The following video, Two Hearts Down, is up for one of CMT’s best videos of the year. So, if you like it and want to show the big companies that little folks can make it (I’m sure you can think of a beer-related parallel), vote for them here:
Black Lillies – Two Hearts Down
And a few other favorites from the region:
Phil Pollard and the Band of Humans – Land of the Living
Christobel and the Johns – More than Friends
A good example of how the music scene just *happens*:
Jon Worley / Fox Hunt / Cutthroat Shamrock jam