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Folk ’N Bluegrass features The Black Lillies — ‘a true Americana supergroup’

The third annual Pagosa Folk ‘N Bluegrass event is just weeks away!

The younger, smaller and (for now) more mellow cousin of The Four Corners Folk Festival, Folk ‘N Bluegrass kicks off on Friday, June 4 with the Free Friday concert at the gazebo in Town Park. There will be two rockin’ sets of music that evening featuring Halden Wofford and the Hi-Beams and The Quebe Sisters Band, plus food vendors and Breckenridge Brewing beer on tap – all on the banks of the lovely San Juan River. Festivities get underway at 5 p.m.; gates will open at 4.

FolkWest encourages artist submissions electronically to be more environmentally responsible by cutting down on plastic production. To that end, we’ve been working with a company called Sonicbids over the past seven years to advertise one performance spot for each festival open exclusively to Sonicbids member bands. Out of the hundreds of submissions received for each event, one outstanding band is selected for the bill. This year’s Pagosa Folk ‘N Bluegrass selection is The Black Lillies.

Born in the rumbling cab of a stone truck and aged in the oak of Tennessee’s smoky night haunts, The Black Lillies have come to the forefront of the Americana scene in little more than a year.

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 bassist Taylor Coker, electric guitar and pedal steel whiz Tom Pryor (the everybodyfields), and drummer Jamie Cook (the everybodyfields).

In April 2009, The Black Lillies released “Whiskey Angel,” their debut recording. The album was recorded live in Cruz’s living room by Sparklehorse drummer Scott Minor, and features Billy Contreras on fiddle. The band toured regularly throughout 2009, with highlights including two performances at the Bonnaroo Music+Arts Festival, two performances at Bristol’s Rhythm and Roots Reunion, and appearances on the Music City Roots and Tennessee Shines live radio shows.

The host of Tennessee Shines, legendary songwriter and musician Jim Lauderdale, called The Black Lillies “a true Americana supergroup.” The band kicked off their first national tour in November in front of a packed house at the storied Ryman Auditorium, the “Mother Church of Country Music.”

The Black Lillies have developed their own style of Americana music in true East Tennessee fashion. They may not fit any industry norm, but where they’re from, that’s a good thing. This band is not to be missed; The Black Lillies will take the stage at 12:15 p.m. on Sunday, June 6, on Reservoir Hill.

The Pagosa Folk ‘N Bluegrass is supported by a grant from the Colorado Council on the Arts, a state agency funded by the Colorado General Assembly and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency.

 Festival tickets and additional information are available on the FolkWest Web site: or by calling (877) 472-4672.