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HomeGrown: The Black Lillies | Arts & Culture

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HomeGrown: The Black Lillies

From Country Music Television to the Grand Ole Opry, The Black Lillies' Americana sound resonates on radio charts.

"You know when you walk on the Opry stage it's going to be fantastic," said Trisha Gene Brady.

With several Independent Music Awards, their most recent record, "100 Miles of Wreckage" is one of the Top 40 Americana Albums of 2011, pretty remarkable considering the band's only been together four years.

"We've all had our own separate journeys musically and through life and our roads brought us to Knoxville," said Cruz Contreras.

Frontman, Cruz Contreras is the mastermind behind the group. He was in between bands and starting over with music and life.

"And, I started writing songs which I hadn't really done," he said. "A buddy of mine came up to me one day and asked if I wanted a gig at the pub. And, I said 'yes' before I had a band at all."

After all, he had plenty of songs and knew several talented artists and musicians. They've been on the road touring ever since.

"We just said from the beginning, we're going to get out there and travel around the country. We're going to play for two people, and we're going to play our hearts out."

And, it's paid off. The Black Lillies have developed a faithful following and enjoyed a lot of quality time together.

"That's the number one question I get- 'How do you travel with a bunch of men?'" laughed Trisha.

"If you didn't have a sense of humor in this band you would not be in it," said Robert Richards.

They've shared lots of laughs and many great moments, but the Opry's grand stage is hard to top!

"There's something about that place," said Jamie Cook.

The Black Lillies have played the Opry 11 times now- more than any other independent artist. As the saying goes, they really are "living the dream."

"It's kind of weird to pursue something that you would almost do for free," said Cruz.

"It's very satisfying because you wake up knowing that you're doing what you're supposed to be doing," added Trisha.

So, what's the next stop on their musical journey?

"I've never been out of the states, so that's something we're working on," said Tom Pryor.

But don't worry, they'll always come back to their roots.

The Black Lillies. Born in Knoxville. HomeGrown in Tennessee.

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