Country

Americana Group The Black Lillies Get Into the Groove With New Track 'Dancin'': Exclusive Song Premiere

The Black Lillies 2015
Sprouse Neuhoff

The Black Lillies

The world of Americana music has been buzzing about The Black Lillies since the band first issued Whiskey Angel, their 2009 debut. In 2013, the band's Runaway Freeway Blues hit the Billboard country charts, and dominated Americana radio, spending three months in the top 5. But, their growing legion of fans has been hungry for new music. 

On Oct. 2, they will deliver, releasing Hard to Please, their fourth disc via Attack Monkey/Thirty Tigers. Frontman Cruz Contreras tells Billboard the band found exactly what they were looking for in the studio while recording the album.

“I feel like we have come up with our best record to date,” he explains. “It’s a pretty unique record in the sense that it’s a progression from all the records that we’ve made. We recorded it in Nashville at the House of Blues. It’s our first time there, as we had always recorded in Knoxville prior.”

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.”