07 January 2017

Lilly of the West - a busy 2016, plans for 2017

Two weeks from now, the 18th Shannonside Winter Music Festival will be in full swing, with the Special Consensus (USA) and Cup O' Joe as the main bluegrass elements. Regular attenders will recall that in 2013 the lineup included (as well as the Special C.) the band Lilly of the West from Bulgaria, who attracted a lot of well deserved attention. What have they been doing since? Well...

Singer, songwriter, performing and recording artist, bandleader, broadcaster, music promoter, and journalist, the multilingual Lilly Drumeva is the moving spirit of bluegrass and acoustic music in the Balkans. She founded her band twenty years ago, performed at the first European World of Bluegrass Festival and many subsequent EWOBs as well as elsewhere in Europe and the USA, and is not slowing down - as her review of 2016 shows.

On St Patrick’s day 2016 the band performed at the Irish embassy in Sofia, as they have done in the past, with Lilly singing the 'Soldier's song' in Gaelic. Later in the year she released her tenth studio album, Strong machine, attracting a lot of airplay and media attention. Her song 'You can count on me' reached no. 4 on the Bulgarian pop charts. Notable shows during the year included Lilly of the West performing before a large audience at the National Art Gallery in Sofia to honour the European Day of Museums and Galleries (21 May); the big La Roche Bluegrass Festival in France (4-7 Aug.); a release concert in Slovenia (11 Sept.); a concert in Sofia celebrating twenty years of Lilly of the West (Oct.); the Kantfest Belgrade in Serbia (24-7 Nov.); and the concert 'Music of the World' at the National Palace of Culture, Sofia (5 Dec.), at which Lilly sang in French, German, Spanish, Russian, Slovenian, and Habra before a packed audience.

The new year will begin for Lilly of the West with a concert at the Delta Blues Bar in Sofia next Saturday (13 Jan.). Part of a show that Lilly played there on 9 July can be seen on YouTube. More details and photos from 2016 and more plans for 2017 can be found on Lilly's website.

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