Loving you

февруари 20, 2010
Lilly Drumeva
Producer: Lilly Drumeva

Buy or listen in Spotify and Amazon, links follow. Албумът може да бъде слушан в Spotify https://open.spotify.com/artist/6u6A9yfr96MeZHQqSypHOt

както и в Амазон https://www.amazon.com/dp/B003E688MO

“Lovin’ you” is almost a “Live” album. It represents what you will hear, when you attend one of my concerts. It is a mixture of bluegrass, country, swing and Bulgarian folk music. That’s where my influences lie. It was recorded in two countries: Bulgaria and The Czech Republic. For the bluegrass repertoire (tracks 1-9) I went to Prague and recorded with one of my favorite European bands “Monogram”. Among these 9 tracks are also 2 duets with Monogram’s singer/guitarist Jakub Racek.

In Sofia I recorded with my home band “Lilly of the West” (tracks 10-15); we focused on 2 Bulgarian folk songs and some country & swing.


About the songs:


Molly & Tenbrooks – B. Monroe

„Molly and Tenbrooks“, also known as „The Racehorse Song“ is, by some definitions, the first recording in the bluegrass music genre. It was recorded by Bill Monroe and His Blue Grass Boys in 1947. The song deals with a match race between two champion horses. It is based on the July 4th 1878 match race between the „Eastern“ horse Ten Broeck and the California mare Mollie McCarty, at the Louisville Jockey Club. Ten Broeck won the race before a record crowd of 30000. *

”Molly and Tenbrooks” has been in my repertoire for the last couple of years. In fact, sometimes I opened the shows with it. I am glad that finally I had the chance to record it.


I’m blue, I’m lonesome – B. Monroe / H. Williams Sr.

Another Bill Monroe classic.  I’ve heard it many times in jam sessions and thought why not record it as a duet with Jakub Racek? It was fun doing it; I hope we’ve given it our own twist.


If I Needed You – Townes van Zandt

Townes Van Zandt, was a country-folk music singer-songwriter, performer, and poet. Many of his songs, including „If I Needed You“ (1972) are considered standards of their genre.* I have always wanted to record this song as a duet with a suitable partner. Jakub suggested it and I’m delighted we did so.


Nellie Kane – T. O’Brian

I learned this song not from Tim O’Brian and his original recording with Hot Rize in 1979 but from Jesse Brock (the award winning US mandolin player). Jesse recorded it with his family band some years ago. I love the melody and the lyrics of “Nellie Kane”. The story that is told in this song can happen anywhere, not only in North Dakota.


Can’t You Hear Me Callin’ – B. Monroe

Quite often in Bulgaria I have to explain what “Bluegrass” is. “Can’t You Hear Me Callin’” is a Bill Monroe signature song, so I have included a few words about him.

Bill Monroe was an American musician who helped develop the style of music known as “Bluegrass”, which takes its name from his band, the „Blue Grass Boys,“ named for Monroe’s home state of Kentucky. Monroe’s performing career spanned 60 years as a singer, instrumentalist, composer and bandleader. He is often referred to as The Father of Bluegrass.*


I am a Pilgrim- Trad./ arr. Monogram

It is a bluesy, gospel song in E major, very suitable for when you jam with other musicians, as everyone can play a solo…


Red Clay Halo – Gillian Welch

It was in London, when I discovered the music of Gillian Welch and David Rawlings. I am a huge fan and have every album. “Red Clay Halo” is featured on “Time the Revelator” released in 2001.


Cry, Cry Darling – Jimmy C Newman/ /J. D. Miller

Jimmy C. Newman, is an American singer and Grand Old Opry star, with a number of Cajun songs in his repertoire. In 1953, he recorded „Cry, Cry Darling,“ which reached number four on the country chart.*


Turn Away – L. Drumeva

This is a fun song that I wrote in 2001, while I was living in the UK for a couple of years. I had a part-time position with the BBC World Service and played music with British musicians Rick Townend and Rosie Davies. I had an exciting time musically, but I couldn’t cope with the English weather. The wind, the constant drizzling rain is hard to get used to, especially for a Balkan girl who grew up with sunshine every day. One day I felt suddenly very homesick. I started to dream about Bulgaria and the blue sky, the sunshine, the beaches, the mountains, my family…and soon I was on the next plane home. “Turn Away” was written in one day, the words just sprang out of my heart and the melody has this roaming, traveling feel. Hope you like it.


Lovin’ You – J. Sebastian

John Sebastian is an American songwriter and harmonica player. He is best known as a founder of “The Lovin’ Spoonful”, a 60s/70s rock n’roll band, with “Summer in the city” as one of their biggest hits. The song “Lovin’ You” was featured on the “Real Live John Sebastian” CD, released in 1971 for Reprise records.* I came across this song through a beautiful recording by Mary Black. One day, I played it to the band and they liked it immediately. It became a steady song in our set. “Lovin’ You” has a light, swinging rhythm and laid back feel. I enjoy singing it every time.


Mechkin Kamen – Trad./arr. Lilly of the West

This is an old Bulgarian folk song, based on a true story. “Mechkin Kamen” (Bear stone) is an area near the town of Krushevo. In 1903 it was the center of a historic battle. 370 Bulgarians fought for their freedom against a Turkish army of more than 3000. Here’s some historical background: Bulgaria was for 500 years under Turkish (Ottoman) occupation. After several uprisings, freedom came in 1878, with the help of the Russian army. Some parts of the south Balkans remained occupied until the beginning of the 20th century.  In 1903, two leaders, Dame Gruev and Pitu Guli organized an uprising in the town of Krushevo.They declared independence of the Krushevo republic and took up a position with 370 fighters in the area of Mechkin Kamen. A Turkish army of more than 3000 surrounded the town. Outnumbered and lacking ammunition the Bulgarians were defeated.* It is a sad song, but part of our history and life.


Pennies from Heaven  – A. Johnson/ J. Burke

„Pennies from Heaven“ is a 1936 American jazz standard, with music by Arthur Johnston and words by Johnny Burke. It was introduced by Bing Crosby in the 1936 film of the same name.*


Goro le Goro Zelena – Trad./arr. LOTW

Another Bulgarian folk song. It is also connected with the liberation of Bulgaria from the Turks. “Goro le Goro Zelena” is a love song. A young woman sings to the forest and prays for her loved one. He went to the mountains to become a “Hajdutin”, a fighter for freedom. The song has a beautiful melody, changing from major to minor, counted in 7/8 time, with extended first beat.


When the Cactus is in Bloom – J. Rodgers

Jimmie Rodgers was a country singer in the early 20th century known mostly for his rhythmic yodeling. The song “When the Cactus is in Bloom” was recorded on 13th June 1931, in Louisville, Kentucky for RCA Victor.*


Tennessee Waltz – R. Stewart/ P.W. King

„The Tennessee Waltz“ is a popular/country music song written by Redd Stewart and Pee Wee King in 1947. Originally recorded by Roy Acuff, it was later popularized by Patti Page and by Les Paul and Mary Ford in 1950. Its popularity led to the State of Tennessee, adopting the tune as its state song in 1965.*


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



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



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. 



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 the review in British Bluegrass Magazine



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


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



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)


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


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


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