„Loving You“

Lilly Drumeva - Loving you album
февруари 1, 2010
Lilly Drumeva

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Лили Друмева – Loving you album cover

Proving that music crosses many borders Bulgarian Lilly Drumeva and her band Lilly of the West (and guests Monogram from the Czech Republic) are playing quality bluegrass and acoustic country. The songs are from the pen of such traditional stalwarts as Bill Monroe, Hank Williams Snr, Jimmie Rodgers as well as from Tim O’Brien, Townes Zan Vandt as well as contemporary writes like Gillian Welch. The versions here are not pushing any envelopes but are delivered with skill, verve and understanding. Drumeva, in her sleeve note, say her passion for this music came from hearing Emmylou Harris’ Live At The Ryman album and that is a pretty good compass point for what’s happening here. She also mixes thins up a little by choosing to cover a 1930’s jazz standard Pennies From Heaven in a way that nods to it’s source. While the closing song, her take on Tennessee Waltz shows that her range could easily extend to traditional country as easily as the acoustic bluegrass base of much of the material. What comes across is a singer and set of musicians enjoying what they are doing and exploring the music they love. It shows that in the future that if it was decided to seek out some less well know choices and expanding on original writing abilities that Lily Drumeva should be able to take her music to another level. In the meantime Loving You is here to be enjoyed.

Friday, October 8, 2010 at 04:41PM
From „Lonesome highway“- internet portal for hard core country and folk music


Лили Друмева – Loving you album cover

Lilly Drumeva divides her latest recording into two segments. The larger segment she recorded in Prague with Monogram, a Czech bluegrass band featuring guitarists/vocalist Jakub Racek, mandolinist Zdenek Jahoda, banjoist Jarda Jahoda, and bassist Pavel Lzicar. The nine songs they record together are predominantly covers of well-known bluegrass tunes. Four of them-„Molly And Tenbrooks,“ „I’m Blue, I’m Lonesome,“ „Can’t You Hear Me Callin’,“ and „I Am A Pilgrim“-are standards. Of them, „I’m Blue, I’m Lonesome“ stands out, partially transformed from its usual stomp into something of a wistful lament. The nonstandards are „Nellie Cain,“ „If I Needed You,“ Gillian Welch’s „Red Clay Halo,“ and Jimmy Newman’s „Cry, Cry Darling.“ Drumeva’s original „Turn Away,“ a lively tune about leaving England’s rain and wind for the sun and blue skies of the Balkans, rounds out the Prague sessions. All are enjoyable and well-played, though the arrangements, particularly of the standards, are just that-standard.
The smaller Bulgarian segment of the tunes finds Drumeva backed by her regular band, Lilly Of The West, a group currently consisting of guitarist Yasen Vasilev, fiddler Ivan Penchev, bassist Svoboda Bozduganova, and percussionist Borislav Bojadjiev. With these six tracks, the interest comes up a notch. Here, the material is more outside the norm, with only the lush, moody „Tennessee Waltz“ having even a remote tie to bluegrass. Instead, there’s a cover of the Lovin’ Spoonful’s ragtime „Lovin’ You,“ two intriguing Bulgarian folk tunes (in interesting time signatures) about freedom fighters, a swing treatment of one of Jimmie Rodgers’ lesser heard tunes,“When The Cactus Is In Bloom,“ and a straight jazz performance of „Pennies From Heaven.“
Putting the two segments together, Lovin’ You rises above average on the strengths of good singing, good instrumental work, and the interesting material found in the Bulgarian segment. 

BW – Bluegrass unlimitted website


Лили Друмева – Loving you album cover

LILLY DRUMEVA – Lovin’ You (Music Author Records MK 54604)

I’ve been something of a closet fan of Country/Bluegrass music for quite a few years but it’s only recently that I’ve made an effort to find out more about it. Lilly Drumeva is something of an anomaly in that she is Bulgarian and (for the first 9 tracks) she utilises the services of one of the Czech Republic’s finest bluegrass band’s Monogram. For the last six tracks she is joined by her own not inconsiderable bunch of talented musicians aptly titled Lilly Of The West. As a newcomer I wasn’t quite sure what to expect but on the strength of the fifteen tracks here I know that I would like to see a live performance. Drumeva’s vocals are satin smooth and ideally suited to the music she obviously has an empathy with and when joined in the duets by Monogram’s Jakub Racek the performance brings back memories of Dolly Parton & Kenny Rogers without the American burr. Spirited arrangements featuring banjo, mandolin and guitar drive everything along at a cracking pace and the title track along with the beautifully seductive „Tennessee Waltz“ are particularly well judged. The eclectic nature of the recording utilising country, bluegrass, swing and even a touch of Bulgarian folk song is like a breath of fresh air to these somewhat jaded ‘folk’ ears of mine and when it’s as superbly crafted as this it has certainly become one of my favourite albums this year. 


Лили Друмева – Loving you album cover

Posted by Stuart A. Hamilton, for „Zeitgeist“

Lovin’ You
self released 2010

Bulgarian bluegrass (yes. really) from Ms Drumeva who, despite appearances, has been releasing albums since 1996. For this one, she headed off to the Czech Republic to record with with Czech bluegrass legends (another yes, really) Monogram. That takes care of the first nine songs on this release as they work their way through some sparkling renditions of tunes by Bill Monroe, Jimmy C Newman, Townes van Zandt and even Gillian Welch. It’s utterly captivating with the pure voice of Ms Drumeva ably set off by the band. As is my wont, I favoured the older songs with ‘I’m Blue, I’m Lonesome’ and ‘Can’t You Hear Me Callin’ my top picks.

The second half of the record sees Ms Drumeva returning to Bulgaria to work up another set with her band, Lilly Of The West, which mixes up country, swing and Bulgarian folk music. So one minute you’re listening to ‘Pennies from Heaven’, then a traditional Bulgarian song called ‘Goro le Goro Zelena’, then its off into Jimmie Rodgers ‘When the Cactus Is In Bloom’.

It’s an absolute delight from top to bottom, with both bands, Monogram and Lilly Of The West in top form. It’s my favourite record of the year so far and I’ve no doubt it will stay at the top of the list for a long time to come.


Click to open pdf file review as in British Bluegrass Magazine British Bluegrass Magazine


Лили Друмева – Loving you album cover

Lilly Drumeva’s new CD „Lovin’ you“

(Translation from Portuguese)

„I enjoyed the CD overall. It is the first time I am listening to a CD of that singer and enjoyed it very much. Her smooth voice is pleasant and the choice of repertoire has a very good taste! I found the tracks in Bulgarian being different and moving! It shows the pride in her roots. The songs that I liked mostly on the CD were „Red Clay Halo“ by Gillian Welch and the Jimmy C. Newman song „Cry, Cry Darling „. I think it’s wonderful to hear bluegrass from other regions of the world. Each country and interpreter is giving his own touch. I loved the CD and I will recommend it to bluegrass lovers. And I will do more follow up on Lilly Drumeva’s career.

Written by Quesia Nunes
Bluegrass Association of Brazil

Лили Друмева – Loving you album cover

Music Author MK

Excellent mix of bluegrass, country, folk and swing

Bulgaria’s Lilly Drumeva has been one of the hardest working musicians on the European bluegrass scene for a number of years. It was more than a dozen years ago that I first encountered this unassuming singer and have watched and marvelled as she has grown and matured both as a singer and bandleader. This is without doubt the most powerful and moving album she’s recorded so far with superb and inspired musicianship throughout and top class production. How come singers and musicians in what we’d term almost third world countries can come up with a first class recording like this, leaving most British bluegrass recordings floundering in the dust?

Though basically a bluegrass record, it’s a whole lot more than that. The first nine tracks were recorded in Prague with Monogram, one of the top Czech bluegrass bands and more or less keeps to a bluegrass sounds with several songs like Molly and the Tenbrooks, I’m Blue, I’m Lonesome (superb duet with Jakub Racek) and Can’t You Hear Me Callin’ associated with Bill Monroe. Lilly and the band stamp their own personality on these songs with some outstanding picking and soulful vocals. The final six songs were recorded in Bulgaria with her band Lilly of the West and run the gamut from folk-pop, to swing to western and Bulgarian folk songs. I really enjoyed her innocent, jaunty take on Jimmie Rodgers’ When The Cactus Is in Bloom with a touch of yodelling and some stunning acoustic guitar by Yasen Vasiiev. An excellent entertaining and varied musical mix that stands up to repeated playing.
Alan Cackett
Maverick Magazine
April 2010


Лили Друмева – Loving you album cover

Lilly Drumeva – Lovin’ You – Polysound 54604

Molly And Tenbrooks / I’m Blue, I’m Lonesome / If I Needed You / Nellie Kane / Can’t You Hear Me Callin’ / I Am A Pilgrim / Red Clay Halo / Cry Cry Darlin’ / Turn Away / Lovin’ You / Mechkin Kamen / Pennies From Heaven / Goro Le Goro Zelena / When The Cactus Is In Bloom / Tennessee Waltz

Lilly Drumeva aus Sofia, Bulgarien wurde während ihres wirtschaftswissenschaftlichen Studiums in Wien 1994 auf Emmylou Harris’ CD „Live At The Ryman“ aufmerksam. Seither ist sie der Country- und insbesondere der Bluegrass Music eng verbunden. Beim Bulgarian National Radio and TV, der englischen BBC vergleichbar, hat sie eine zweistündige wöchentliche Radiosendung und eine 30-minütige wöchentliche Fernsehsendung, in der sie jeweils sieben aktuelle Videos vorstellt, vornehmlich aus den USA, weil es zu ihrem Leidwesen aus Europa kaum Videos gibt. Mit ihrer 1996 gegründeten Band Lilly Of The West hat sie seit Jahren Bluegrass und Folk gespielt, Swing gehört ebenfalls dazu. Inzwischen hat sie sich auch mit der tschechischen Top Bluegrass Band Monogram zusammengetan. Mit beiden Bands tritt sie auf. Wenn eher Swing- und Folk- Einflüsse gewünscht sind, spielt sie als Lilly Of The West, bei straight Bluegrass heißt es Lilly Drumeva & Monogram.

Für ihre achte CD des Jahrgangs 2009 hat sie beide Formationen ins Studio genommen, Tracks 1 bis 9 sind im September 2009 mit Monogram in Prag entstanden, Tracks 10 bis 15 im August mit Lilly Of The West in Sofia. Seit gut einem Jahr hat sie zur akustischen Gitarre auch die Fiddle addiert, die Aufnahmen sind ohne technischen Tricks wie Overdubs entstanden, so, als würde sie auf der Bühne spielen. „I’m Blue, I’m Lonesome“ und „If I Needed You“ sind Duette mit Jakub Racek, dem Sänger von Monogram. Mit sehr viel Gefühl und einer wunderschönen Stimme sind die Aufnahmen liebevoll eingespielt worden, Gillian Welch’s „Red Clay Halo“ erweist sich als Perle unter Perlen. „Turn Away“ ist eine wunderschöne Eigenkomposition von Lilly mit herrlicher Melodie und einem Rückblick auf das sonnige Bulgarien, denn das Lied ist 2001 entstanden, als sie für zwei Jahre im wettermäßig nicht so beglückten London lebte, das Heimweh hat schließlich obsiegt.

Mit Lilly Of The West ist auch ein wenig bulgarische Folklore ins neue Album eingeflossen, zwei Lieder gehen in diese Richtung. „Lovin’ You“ leitet insoweit den Stilwechsel ein, Bluegrass und Swing sind hier verwachsen, als habe es noch nie andersklingende Musik gegeben. Im Gegensatz zu vergleichbaren Künstlern aus den USA fehlen die Bluenotes, aber sie werden nicht vermisst, die klare, reine Musik im Stil irischer Folk Music ist ja eine der Wurzeln des Bluegrass. So sind die Aufnahmen dieser CD von unvergleichlicher Schönheit, das CD-Booklet enthält neben großartigen Fotos auch Informationen zu den Liedern und Musikern. Der Tipp schlechthin für einen kleinen Einkauf im Internet bei CD Baby. (Friedrich Hog)

Лили Друмева – Loving you album cover

Je viens de recevoir le cd de Lilly Drumeva intitulé Lovin’ You Lilly est une chanteuse bulgare multiculturelle, sur cet album elle s’est adjoint les musiciens de Monogram (Craponne , l’un si ce n’est le meilleur groupe Tchèque avec Jakub Racek (Guitare et harmonies vocales), Zdenek Jahoda (mandoline), Jarda Jahoda (banjo), Pavel Lzicar (contrebasse) et Pepa Malina (Violon sur Cry Cry Darlin’) Cet album est tout simplement EXCEPTIONNEL. Du Bluegrass tout en douceur et en finesse comme je l’aime.
Pas de la compétition technique comme on trouve trop souvent chez les groupes européens mais de l’émotion, de la douceur, du talent et de l’esthétique.
Le disque est disponible chez CD Baby 

Georges Carrier
Country Rendez-vous festival, Creponne, France

(….“exceptional cd, not only for bluegrass standards, it has the heart, sweetness, finesse, talent, esthetic. All that I like“….)

CD „Lovin’ You
By Bryn Williams, North England Bluegrass

Лили Друмева – Loving you album cover

Talking of old friends it was a pleasant surprise to receive Lilly Drumeva’s latest CD „Lovin’ You“… you can check out one of the tracks „If I needed you“ which she sings on U-tube with Czech Republic „Monogram“ guitarist Jakub Racek. This is an excellent CD and I think the tracks that she plays with „Monogram“ are the best that she has produced so far. Apart from being a beautiful young Bulgarian lady, Lilly is also a talented singer and the Czech Republic band compliment her style perfectly. The European bands may never get that raw USA bluegrass sound BUT this CD is very well produced and played and deserves to be out there amongst all the other top bands. Lilly will always be a House of Plank favourite and since we first met her all those years ago

Lilly has developed into a good strong singer with a great feel for the music and the musicians with her on this recording are amongst the best in Europe . So in short!! A great CD that is well worth listening to!!

By Bryn Williams, North England Bluegrass – Jan 2010


Bulgaria/Czech Republic – Lilly Drumeva’s new country CD

Лили Друмева – Loving you album cover

Lilly Drumeva, a passionate champion of country music and bluegrass in her native Bulgaria, has a new CD out. Called „Lovin’ you“ it joins Lilly and her band, Lilly of the West, with some of the top Czech country and bluegrass musicians – namely, the guys from the award-winning Czech band Monogram: Jakub Racek, Zdenek Jahoda, Jarda Jahoda and Pavel Lzicar, with guest Pepa Malina. Lilly has been collaborating with Monogram for more than a year – I hear them in concert in Prague last March.

The CD was produced by Jakub Racek and recorded in both Bulgaria and the CZ. Tracks include bluegrass, swing, and country (including a cover of one of my favorite songs, Townes Van Zandt’s „If I Needed You“) and even a couple of Bulgaria folk tunes.

By Ruth Ellen Gruber, journalist – Jan 2010



Lilly Drumeva