The Black Lillies Announce An Indefinite Hiatus

photo: Brad Coolidge

Knoxville, Tennessee’s alt-country/Americana outfit The Black Lillies have announced an indefinite hiatus. In a statement released on Thursday, December 26th, the band said, “After eleven years, five albums, approximately 2000 shows, and countless relationships built along the way, the time has come for us to take a step back from The Black Lillies. This isn’t goodbye – it’s just farewell for now. Touring at the pace we have makes it difficult to attend to anything else, and we each have things we’ve put on the back burner in order to focus on the band. We’ll be taking an indefinite hiatus in order to nurture those other projects and relationships for a while.” 

Led by long-time founding member and frontman Cruz Contreras, the band released their latest album Stranger To Me via Thirty Tigers in 2018. It was their first album since the departure of high-profile member Trisha Gene Brady, and the slimming down from a six-piece to a four-piece band. It also saw bass player, songwriter and solo artist, and former member of the Everybodyfields, Sam Quinn, take a more active role in the band. Guitarist Dustin Schaefer also announced he was leaving the band back in March to pursue a solo career, and also to do some fill in guitar work with Reckless Kelly. Drummer Bowman Townsend was also part of the band.

Along with being well-regarded in the Americana realm, The Black Lillies were booked by the Texas music-focused agency Red 11, making them honorary members of the Texas/Red Dirt scene.

“We can’t thank you enough for being the very best fans and friends a band could ask for,” the band’s statement continued. “More than that – you’ve been our extended family. Having you in our lives has been the most important outcome of being in this band. You’ve impacted our lives in countless ways, and we are so grateful. We’ve got four shows this weekend and in the coming weeks we’ll announce one more hometown celebration that will take place this spring. Stay tuned for details about that show … Thank you. We love you. Farewell for now.”

Keep and eye out for both Cruz Contreras and Sam Quinn to be working on solo projects in the future. Along with The Everybodyfields, Sam Quinn led a group called Japan Ten that released an album in 2010.

Final Shows for The Black Lillies:

  • Saturday 12/28 – Johnson City, TN @ The Willow Tree Coffeehouse and Music Room
  • Sunday, 12/29 – Pittsburgh, PA @ Thunderbird Café & Music Hall
  • Monday 12/30 – Thomas, WV @ The Purple Fiddle (unplugged)
  • Tuesday, 12/31 – Thomas, WV @ The Purple Fiddle
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