Hard To Please also is notable for another career first: The group worked with an outside producer for the first time. Grammy-winning Ryan Hewitt (Avett Brothers, Johnny Cash, Red Hot Chili Peppers). “It was a big step for us letting us bring someone in with an opinion about the music that we make," says Contreras. "But, he turned out to be a great influence on us. We got the right sound -- a big and full sounding record.”
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Billboard is exclusively premiering "Dancin?'," a vocal duet with member Trisha Gene Brady from Hard to Please. Listen below.
“I wrote the song back in February. We had about two weeks to write the entire record, which was very nerve-racking. We had such a busy touring schedule. Luckily, we had a winter snowstorm -- and we typically don’t get a lot of snow in Knoxville, so we ended up having it all week," says Contreras. "[It] gave us a chance to write and arrange a little bit. One of the first songs we wrote was ‘Dancin'.”
The band looked to an old-school aproach while recording it. “We didn’t try to reinvent the wheel with it. It’s a very classic form. It was inspired by years of touring. A lot of our audiences love to dance, so you learn what grooves work," says Contreras. "It’s about a couple who has kind of gotten set in their ways. I had this image of a couple just sitting on the couch, watching TV, and they are ignoring each other. Something happens, and they start to reminisce about the days when they would go out dancing, and have a good time. It’s all about getting back to your roots, and the simple things in life."
And The Black Lillies have gotten a positive response from fans to "Dancin'". "It goes over great live," explains Contreras. "As soon as we start singing it, people start smiling.”