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Friday, May 25, 2012

Bulgarian artist Lilly Drumeva Expands Americana/Bluegrass Borders!

Image634736176875266940Carrying the torch for Americana music in her native Bulgaria, Lilly Drumeva releases her brand new music video for the lovely, "Who Knows What Tomorrow May Bring," performed with her band Lilly of the West.

Lilly has long been one of the leading Americana, country and bluegrass music personalities in Bulgaria. Through her work as a musician, as well as her role hosting weekly country radio and television shows, she has worked to expand American music's borders and bring its core sounds to a whole new audience.

Watch "Who Knows What Tomorrow May Bring" , the latest music video from their new album Swings and Heartaches. [ Click Read More for Video]

"Swings and Heartaches" includes eleven songs, in two parts.
The "swings" are lively, up-tempo songs from the 40s/50s, featuring two Patsy Cline hits ("Gotta lotta rhythm in my soul" & "Walkin' after midnight"), one by Hank Williams ("Lovesick blues"), two old western/swing standards ("My window faces the south", "I'm gonna sit right down and write myself a letter") and a modern swing ("Who knows what tomorrow may bring").
The "heartaches" are beautiful ballades with strong lyrics. One is a Johnny Cash/June Carter duet ("If I were a carpenter"), another is an Everly Brothers' classic ("Crying in the rain"); a modern nostalgic song by Juice Holland & Sam Brown ("Valentine moon") and two Bulgarian folk melodies ("Brala moma" & "Malka moma").
Musicians:
Lilly Drumeva -- lead & harmony vocals, fiddle
Yasen Vasilev -- lead & harmony vocals, lead & rhythm guitars
Michail Shishkov -- lead and harmony vocals, Dobro, piano
Svoboda Bozduganova -- upright bass: pizzicato and arco
With special guests: Michal Barok -- mandolin, Milena Vuleva -- fiddle
"Lilly of the West" was formed in 1996 by Lilly Drumeva in Sofia. Shortly after releasing a debut album, the band toured successfully throughout Europe and the US, winning European and international bluegrass music awards. "Lilly of the west" has a large repertoire, including country, bluegrass, swing, jazz, pop and Bulgarian folk music. The band has released 9 albums to date; the latter ("Swings & heartaches") is a collection of jazz & swing standards from the 1930s/40s.

Lilly's music has received fantastic reviews from around the globe:

“It's utterly captivating with the pure voice of Ms Drumeva ably set off by the band….It's an absolute delight from top to bottom, with both bands, Monogram and Lilly Of The West in top form. It's my favorite record of the year so far and I've no doubt it will stay at the top of the list for a long time to come…” Zeitgeist magazine, UK, April 2010 on the album "Lovin' You"

“This highly recommended album is a stunning collection of music and is a 'must have' for your collections…” Bluegrass & More E- magazine, Scotland, January 2010 on the album "Lovin' You"

Lilly Drumeva’s smooth voice is pleasant and the choice of repertoire has a very good taste! I loved the CD and I will recommend it to bluegrass lovers….” Bluegrass Association of Brazil, March 2010 on the album "Lovin' You"

Since 1995 Lilly Drumeva heads the popular Bulgarian bluegrass & country music band “Lilly of the West”. She is the founder, main artist, singer- songwriter, instrumentalist, music arranger, manager and record producer of the group’s nine albums to this date. She performs regularly in Bulgaria and abroad, working with leading bluegrass and country musicians around the world.

Lilly is a moving spirit in the European bluegrass and country music scene, she is a pioneer and leader in Bulgaria. Her weekly country music radio and TV shows educate and teach the public about this very authentic and unique American music. Lilly is also a publicist and country music journalist, writing for several magazines in Europe. She represents Eastern Europe in several country & bluegrass music associations. She is an advocate for country and bluegrass in Bulgaria and on the Balkans, through her concerts, workshops and recordings; she is introducing American music and culture to the people.

For 15 years Lilly has been involved in American music in Bulgaria and abroad. She is the founder of the first and only country & bluegrass music band “Lilly of the West”. She is the source of information, coordinator and expert on this music in Bulgaria. Lilly educates the audience and teaches young musicians to play country & bluegrass. She inspires the fans and spreads audio and video material, books, magazines and other publications on the subject.

Lilly is a member of the board of the European Bluegrass Music Association (EBMA) in Basel, Switzerland, a representative for Eastern Europe in the International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) in Nashville, TN, a professional member of the Country Music Association (CMA) in Nashville, TN. She is a spokesperson for the Bulgarian singer/songwriter community “Poets with guitars. The “Poets with guitars” movement follows the footsteps of the great American songwriters, such as Bob Dylan, John Denver and others.

Lilly Drumeva formed the band “Lilly of the West” in 1996 in Sofia. Shortly after releasing a debut album, the band toured successfully throughout Europe and the US, winning European and international bluegrass music awards. “Lilly of the west” has a large repertoire, including country, bluegrass, swing, jazz and folk music. The band has released eight albums to date; the latter (“Lovin’ you”) has been recorded in Prague with some of the best Czech musicians. Currently, “Lilly of the West” is recording a retro album, with jazz & swing standards from the 40s. Lilly has written many songs, arranged most of the band’s material. She is the lead vocalist, guitarist, violinist and mandolinist of the band. Lilly has worked closely with the Culture Department of the US embassy, co-organizing several concerts: The Ebony Hillbillies, The Dust Busters, Steve James, Laurie Lewis and others.

Lilly’s career on radio began in 2001 in London, where she took a position with the BBC World Service. She has worked as a music journalist and reporter for the weekly program “Mega Chas”.

In 2003 she returned to Bulgaria and started hosting music shows on Retro radio and Horizont, together with Bulgarian radio legend Toma Sprostranov. In 2007 she took a position as music editor on Radio Sofia, a new channel of the Bulgarian National Radio. At Radio Sofia, she currently hosts two weekly music shows “Country with Lilly” and “In the mood with Lilly”. Lilly also has her own country music show on Balkan Bulgarian Television. The program can be seen nationwide, as well as in the neighboring countries. Like this, viewers all over the Balkans can learn about American music and culture. Lilly’s shows on radio and TV are educational with each show having a unique theme. Every issue presents the story and roots of American music, from traditional to modern. The material for it is provided through Lilly’s personal labor and contacts. She receives regularly material from Aristomedia and the Country Music Associations. Guests on the shows are sometimes diplomats from the US embassy, introducing their valuable music collections.

All these personal efforts and wonderful aim of Lilly Drumeva, to promote American music and culture on the Balkans, deserve support!

Her mission is to introduce and enlighten a wide number of people about the beauty and values of American music, so that they understand it and learn to love it.

Visit Lilly of the West online here: http://www.lillydrumeva.net

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