Moonflower surprises, but only those who didn’t already know Lily B. Moonflower
by Max Paley
Things that are NOT refreshing: taking a sip of the wrong can of beer that’s been sitting out too long, melting in a festival campground tent at sun’s first light and listening to ho-hum music that sounds recycled and too familiar.
Things that ARE refreshing: iced tea or a dip in the lake on a hot summer day, driving a convertible with the top down and a new woman on the country music scene with true talent and ability.
Enter: Lily B. Moonflower. Her debut album, Moonflower, is set for release February 12, 2021 and couldn’t come at a better moment in her musical journey. The daughter of a musician specializing in classical guitar and trombone, Lily grew up listening to classic Country gentlemen like Bob Wills and shuttling between her hometown and her grandparents’ place in Texas.
In other words, she was born a country girl and her slide into country music is welcome to our ears! Twang indeed runs through her veins and as we slowly emerge from the pandemic we need a solid soundtrack. Fortunately, Moonflower delivers!
In “Broke Bitch Blues” Lily shows off strong songwriting and storytelling abilities, including the most important one of all: relatability. While not everyone can relate to needing a six-shooter to protect themselves we’ve all had financial ups and downs and have at least felt broke even if we are able to stay fed and housed.
In the same song she talks about having “nothing to prove.” Well, all musicians actually have a lot to prove, most of all to themselves. The difference with Lily is that she’s already proven herself even at such a young age, from the festival stages of Colorado to the 4 AM campfire jams at the Walnut Valley Bluegrass Festival in Winfield, KS.
Lily has some advantages over your average country singer. First, her musical heritage is not hurting anything. But, more importantly, she has surrounded herself with the right people, particularly her life partner Jake Keegan (of the nationally touring bluegrass act Grassfed) and the good people at Lost Cowgirl Records. The new album sounds straight out of Nashville in terms of quality.
This is due mostly to the musical mind of Martin Farrell, Jr. Farrell retains his heavyweight Kansas Country producer belt that he acquired with 2018’s Cosmic Western Duos, defended with 2020’s Coffee & Laundry and more than holds on to with Moonflower. Farrell demands authenticity from his artists, performing very little post-production work on the album and absolutely no auto-tuning. This means that Lily is actually as good as she sounds on these recordings
Moonflower makes for such an exciting listen because it solidifies both Lily B. Moonflower as a true Country singer-songwriter and and the Eastern Kansas Country scene as a legitimate one worth paying attention to. It is so refreshing to hear a woman telling her stories in such a digestible way and accompanied by an amazing slate of backing musicians. Plans are already in motion for a new duo album with Lily and Keegan and even a second solo album and we cannot wait!
Is there a Kansas Country wave coming? If Moonflower and Farrell have anything to do with it then emphatically yes.