CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Local singer/songwriter (and Goldenseal magazine editor) John Lilly seems to get more prolific as he gets older, and his latest album is his most fully realized release to date.
It's a great-sounding disc that features a baker's dozen originals that tap classic melodies and styles. To flesh out his tunes, he's enlisted heavy hitters like guitarist Bill Kirchen, slide guitar ace Sonny Landreth, West Virginia's Tim O'Brien, session bassist Mike Bub and pedal steel player Tommy Detamore.
"Come and Go" opens with Landreth's gorgeous slide, easing into a song that instantly feels like a toe-tapping standard. Songs like "Cold Comfort" and "I Thought You'd Never Call" take cues from Hank Williams, one of Lilly's main sources of inspiration. "Tore Up From the Floor Up" pairs an old-school groove with Kirchen's stellar guitar work and an ear-catching solo from Mountain State mandolinist Johnny Staats.
Lilly spices up the mix with the truck-driving "I-95" (with Kirchen twanging away on baritone guitar), the Texas two-stepping "Step by Step," the gentle melodic folk of "Two Miracles" (with Tim O'Brien) and the dancehall swing of "Done Done Done."
Lilly will host a CD release party at South Charleston's LaBelle Theater this Saturday night at 7 p.m.