The Black Lillies “100 Miles of Wreckage” (North Knox Records 2011)

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I was alerted to this album via Knoxville blogger and DJ Nelson from A Fifty Cent Lighter who featured this hometown band on his blog recently, I  secured a copy via Reviewshine where the album was tagged as “indie roots rock, alt-country”, in truth you could add a few more hyphens and genres as the album draws on a range of roots and rock influences, I know music labels and genres are very much a love and hate thing, I’m on the love side myself but when it comes down to it we all know there are only really two types of music and this album falls into the “good” category.

100 Miles of Wreckage is the second album from the Knoxville quintet who are, founder member, vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Cruz Contreras, Tom Pryor on electric guitar and pedal steel, Jamie Cook on drums, Robert Richards on bass and Trisha Gene Brady on vocals, there is is also a guest appearance from Jill Andrews on the track The Arrow.

The album was recorded by Scott Minor of Sparklehorse and was influenced by the untimely death of Mark Linkous at the studio near the end of the recording process, the tragedy inspired a new song and Go to Sleep which closes the album, Linkous’ passing influenced the bands decision to re-record a large part of the music in an “an almost-live” session, an attempt to capture that essence of performance that is often lost on recordings, the resulting album delivers.

Of the styles on display for me the band are at their best of the twangier numbers and the vocal interplay between Cruz and Trisha works wonderfully well so I’ve chosen the albums opener as the teaser track.

The Black Lillies – Two Hearts Down

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