A little help from my friends: Bringing in the new year at The Mill and Mine

Tom Pryor playing guitar for The Black Lillies on New Years Eve at The Mill and Mine.
Tom Pryor playing guitar for The Black Lillies on New Years Eve at The Mill and Mine.

The Mill and Mine, what could be considered Knoxville’s most popular up-and-coming music venue, held a New Year’s celebration featuring The Black Lilies and special guest Alanna Royale.

The night began with a bang as Alanna Royale brought the whole house down. The opener’s thick, soulful voice filled the entire room and left the audience shaken. Dressed in a gold sparkly jump suit and moving with the grace of a seasoned performer, it was hard to believe that she wasn’t the one closing the show.

The musicians in her brass back-up band seemed to be enjoying her performance and were in as much shock as the audience. She sang original material, which proved that she was not only an incredible performer but also an excellent songwriter.

Most of her songs focused on struggles concerning love and loss. Alanna currently has two albums out and is currently touring across the North and Southeast. Her sound combines soul with a mix of big band and is uniquely her own.

The next performance of the night was Knoxville’s own, The Black Lilies, who took the stage as if they had performed there every Friday. The band’s casual style and relaxed nature made it feel as if it was a private concert. Adhering to their Knoxville roots with their bluegrass and folk sound, this group was able to bring a bit of hometown flare into 2017.

The lead singer, who also played guitar, showed incredible skills on the keyboard—even playing once with both hands and a foot. The audience was in a fit of hysterics, at which point he stood and tipped his hat.

The night was full of surprises. Even an engagement took place on stage, which was a wonderful start to the New Year. As the clocked ticked, the band continued to play, and the crowd danced in time. When the clock hit 12, the audience cheered as an assortment of balloons fell from the ceiling, and The Black Lilies played into the New Year.

Matt Smith, steel guitar player for The Black Lillies performing at The Mill and Mine on New Years Eve.
Matt Smith, steel guitar player for The Black Lillies performing at The Mill and Mine on New Years Eve.
The Black Lillies Frontman, Cruz Contreras, preforms at the Mill and Min.
The Black Lillies Frontman, Cruz Contreras, preforms at the Mill and Min.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.