Cruz Contreras Live

Read our review of Cruz Contreras live in Bristol VA/TN


Birthplace of Country Music Theatrette Bristol VA/TN – TriFest Music Tour 20 September 2018


Words – Rob Dickens

Images – Jim Jacob


Front man of the outfit The Black Lillies Cruz Contreras is not only that.  For quite some time he has been the ONLY man that has enabled a continuous thread as the band has evolved significantly in recent times.

Listening Through The Lens experienced the new incarnation of the band at last week’s AmericanaFest in Nashville as they provided a large footprint on their new album Stranger To Me to be released any day now (the album was funded through fan pledges).

Tonight was a setting for sure.  The Birthplace of Country Museum celebrates the event and town where country music took off as the first recordings of The Carter Family and Jimmie Rodgers were made here.

The solo show provided a greater insight into the new material, a more melodic and lyrically-focused spotlight on some impressive new songs.  Most of the new tunes were treated with a gentle and loving touch – “Out Of The Blue”, “Stranger To Me”, “River Rolls”, Earthquake” and the homage to his uncle “Don’t Be Afraid” – all filled with honest self-reflection.

Adding to the new original material, we were dipped in some other perspectives – the complex guitar version of Rodgers’ “Peach Picking Time”, the cover of Scott Miller’s wonderful “Someday, Sometime” (which also features on the new issue), the look-back tunes “Three in The Mornin'”, the tender and repentant “The Same Mistakes” and the shout-it-from-the-rooftops “Two Hearts Down”.

The intimate space, the charm of this journeyman, the adulation of the audience and the fact that we have arrived in such an important music portal on the cusp of the three-day Bristol Rhythm and Roots Reunion.

It all melded into a glorious, joyous evening.


Read our review of Cruz Contreras live in Bristol VA/TN



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Author: Rob Dickens

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