"Lilly Of The West"
Lilly of the West Delivers Innovative Music - October 2012
A centuries-old country at the crossroads of ancient civilizations, Bulgaria is home to a unique musical intersection as well. With her genre-defying ensemble Lilly of the West, Lilly Drumeva has pioneered the promotion of bluegrass music in the Balkans and beyond for more than fifteen years. In fact, the versatile vocalist/songwriter/musician has made this her life mission and passion. She backs up that goal with extensive credits.
Drumeva has taken Americas homegrown
genre on tour not only throughout her homeland, but also to a dozen
European countries stretching from the United Kingdom to Russia. She
has even crossed the Atlantic with her unusual program, appearing successfully
in the United States.
Nine recordings, plus one live performance
DVD, released over the last decade and a half have placed and
kept Lilly of the West in demand for concert, festival, radio
and television appearances. The latest CD, Swings and Heartaches, covers
classic country-blues ballads, Western swing and a taste of Bulgarian
folk music. Its success, supported with rave reviews from journalists
around the globe, has secured the quartets standing in the international
Future goals include touring such countries
as Australia, Canada, Japan and Brazil. In the works is a video devoted
to Bulgarian folk music, as well as a companion DVD for Swings and Heartaches.
Drumeva also continues to develop original material for the band.
Career highlights of Lilly Drumeva and her band "Lilly of the West"
She returned to Bulgaria in 1996 and formed
her own band "Lilly of the West". A debut album was released,
followed by appearances at major festivals in the Czech Republic, Switzerland,
Germany, Italy, Lithuania, Estonia, Poland, the Netherlands and in the
In May 1998 Lilly of the West performed
at the first EUROPEAN WORLD OF BLUEGRASS Convention in The Netherlands
and won first place. In October 1998 they performed at the International
Bluegrass Music Awards in Louisville, Kentucky, sharing the spotlight
with Alison Krauss, Rhonda Vincent, Ricky Skaggs and many others. Lilly
was also a presenter during the award ceremony gala and appeared on Fox
In May 1999 Lilly of the West released
a second album "Sail on the Wild Wild Wind" on Strictly Country
Records in the Netherlands. The songs were recorded live during the band's
tours in Holland.
A third album followed in January 2000,
entitled "Dear & Kind" which was inspired by the band's
native Bulgarian folk music.
After completing a three-month tour in
Europe 2001, Lilly took a position with the BBC World Service and settled
down in London. She worked with British bluegrass musicians Rick Townend
& Rosie Davis, releasing a 6 track CD "Lilly & Rosie".
In May 2003 Lilly returned to Bulgaria
where she started her own music show on Retro Radio Network, the second
most popular station in Bulgaria. She released the forth album "A
collection", featuring some of the most requested songs of the band's
In October 2004 Lilly of the West showcased
at the International Bluegrass Music Awards (IBMA) in Louisville, Kentucky
with additional performances at the Galt House International Suites. Lilly
Drumeva was backed by very talented young Slovak musicians.
In March 2005 Lilly Drumeva toured in the
United States together with American musicians (Marshall Wilborne, Jesse
Brock, Mike Munford) and graduated from the Bluegrass Leadership Program
in Nashville, Tennessee. She released a new CD "Pickin' live",
recorded live in the United States. The same year Lilly started her own
country music show on Balkan Bulgarian Television.
In May 2005 Lilly of the West showcased
at the European World of Bluegrass (EWOB) in Barneveld, Holland and Lilly
was elected in the board of the European Bluegrass Music Association.
In April 2006 Lilly Drumeva took a position
as music editor on Radio Sofia, part of Bulgaria's State National Radio.
In September she started her own country music show "Country with
Lilly". She toured also with US mandolinist Jesse Brock in Switzerland,
Norway and Lithuania.
In January 2007 Lilly of the West released
a new album "Time after time", featuring Lilly's favorite classics
from the 60s "All I have to do is dream", "The end of the
world", Cindy Lauper's "Time after time", Irish traditionals
like "The water is wide", "A walk in the Irish rain",
John Denver's "Leaving on a jet plane" and others. The album
had great reviews and is currently sold on CD Baby.
In June 2008 Lilly Drumeva teamed up with
Czech musicians Lubos Malina (banjo) and Lubos Novotny (dobro) and performed
several shows in Bulgaria and the Czech Republic. In September Lilly visited
the United States and performed with The Nob Hill Boys (bluegrass band
from Wisconsin) and Al Goll (Dorbo player from Nashville). She also attended
IBMA's International Summit, being one of the official delegates from
In 2009 the band toured successfully in
Europe and Bulgaria, performing at Willisau bluegrass festival, Switzerland,
European World of Bluegrass, The Netherlands, La Roche Bluegrass festival,
France, concerts in the Bulgarian embassies in Prague and Budapest. Lilly
Drumeva worked with musicians of the renowned Czech band "Monogram".
Lilly & band performed at studio 1 of the Bulgarian national radio,
the concert was recorded for the "golden fund".
In January 2010 Lilly released her 8th
album, entitled "Lovin' you". Recorded in Sofia and Prague,
it features Czech band "Monogram" and "Lilly of the West",
Bulgaria. The repertoire is bluegrass, country, swing & Bulgarian
folk. Lilly recorded also duets with Monogram's singer/guitarist Jakub
Racek. CD release parties were held in Sofia and Prague. Lilly performed
also with renowned Irish musicians Paul O'Shaughnessy and Larry Egan in
In 2011 the band perfumed with the Ebony
Hillbillies (US) at the National Palace of Culture, Sofia; took part in
the first Country Music Festival in Bankya ("Country West Fest");
celebrated its 15 years anniversary at the "Sofia Live Club".
Lilly and band performed also at Greven grass bluegrass festival, Germany,
La Roche sur Forron bluegrass festival, France, Bansko jazz fest Bulgaria.
They played several concerts in Sofia parks, organized by the city hall.
The band collaborated with top French mandolin player Dorian Ricaux. A10
days European tour has been completed (22 September- 20 October), featuring
guest mandolinist Michal Barok (Slovakia). Recordings for the new album
"Swings & heartaches" have been finalized.
Current members: Lilly Drumeva -
vocal, guitar, fiddle, mandolin,
Lilly of the West is a famous name in Sofia's
live music scene. The band performs regularly in clubs (Flannagan's, Murphy's,
Swinging hall, Checkpoint Charley, Tea house, Sachmo jazz club, Fans rock
club, 2night piano bar) at parties & receptions (M-Tel, Heinecken
Beer, Socialist Party), on TV (Kanal 1, TV 7) & radio (Horizont, Darik).
The band preformed at some of the major music festivals in Bulgaria: Salon
of the Arts, NDK, Christmas & New year's festival, NDK, Apolonia festival
of the Arts, Sozopol,. Lilly of the West is a popular band among the ex-pat
community in Bulgaria, concerts for the Embassies of The United States,
Peace Corps, USAID, United Kingdom, Ireland, Austria, Czech Republic,
The European Union Delegation in Bulgaria, The International Women's Club,
Bulgarian Jewish Society, Bulgarian - Irish Society.
the major festivals aboard:
European World of Bluegrass, The Netherlands
Dobro Fest Trnava, Slovakia
Donauinsel Fest Vienna, Austria
Inverness festival of the Arts, Scotland
Karl Mai festival Dresden - Germany
Mrangovo Country Picnic - Poland
Paide Shanty festival - Estonia
Musica Latina - Italy
SBMA festival - Switzerland
Big Baer festival - The Netherlands
Athy Bluegrass festival - Ireland
Bohemian Bluegrass Festival Pisek - Czech
Trondheim Country Music fest, Norway
IBMA festival, Louisville Kentucky, USA
IBMA festival Nashville, Tennessee, USA
New Arc festival, Delaware, USA
La Roche Bluegrass Festival, France
Willisau bluegrass festival, Switzerland
Delaware Valley Bluegrass festival, New
Greven Grass bluegrass festival Germany
Bansko Jazz fest, Bulgaria
Arena musica Sofia
Country West Fest, Bankya
"Lilly of the West" - a bluegrass
band with a fresh modern repertoire consisting of captivating
of the West" is the only bluegrass band in Bulgaria but they shine
amongst the best
of the West" have been winning over audiences throughout Europe,
as well as the
Yassen Vassilev - guitar, vocal
Lilly Drumeva - guitar, fiddle, lead vocal,
Michail Shishkov (Misho) Dobro guitar, harmonica, piano
Svoboda Bozduganova (Bodi) - upright bass, vaocal,
2012 Band Photographs.
[Please click on photo to load full size picture]
Last updated: 31-May-2015 8:46 PM