Today's Song You Should Know: 'Keystone Lillie' By Saugeye

Post by: Rick Ellis 26 December, 2020

A musical sweet spot for me is the kinda difficult to describe fusion of bluegrass, country-pop, folk and mountain music. But while I'm hard pressed to define it, it's one of those genres that you can instantly identify when you hear it.

I don't know anything about the Tulsa, Oklahoma-based band Saugeye other than what I was able to discover online, primarily on the group's Bandcamp page.

The track "Keystone Lillie" comes from their upcoming album, which is coming out on January 29th and is apparently an homage to a beloved dog:

"Ten years I got to love you/Ten years just ain't enough/Oh what I'd give/For one more day/With your perfect love"

Saugeye is comprised of a bunch of veteran Tulsa musicians: Jared Tyler (acoustic guitar / dobro / vocals), Seth Lee Jones (electric guitar / slide guitar), Jake Lynn (drums / backing vocals) and Casey Van Beek (bass / backing vocals). I'm a fan of Tyler's solo work, but while I am sadly not as familiar with any of the work from the other members of the band (although I do know the music of The Tractors), that is my mistake. These are clearly musicians I should be listening to on a regular basis.

"Keystone Lillie" is a breezy, bittersweet ray of musical sunshine that instantly makes you wish you were sitting around a fire pit, pulling back a cold one while listening to the band play. The track is timeless in a way that never sounds dated and if the rest of the album is half this good, you should pre-order your copy today.

Here is some info about the band from Horton Records, the label releasing the album. The video of the song is below:

Since 2017, the band has honed its tight live performance with weekly residencies at Tulsa’s Mercury Lounge and The Colony, as well as festivals including Okemah’s Woody Guthrie Folk Festival, Tahlequah’s Medicine Stone Music Festival and Kansas City’s Open Spaces Art Festival, building a loyal following along the way.  The eleven songs on this release reflect that musicianship. 

Recorded at Tulsa’s Black Box Studio on a single day, with the goal of capturing the band’s live show, all of the tracks (including drums, bass, lead and rhythm guitar, and lead vocals) were cut live, with background vocals and B3 organ added later. The songs are a selection of originals (including “Keystone Lillie,” Tyler’s recently penned, beautiful tribute to his faithful dog) and covers by some of the band’s friends and favorites. Saugeye’s powerful rendition of Bill Wither’s  “Grandma’s Hands” features an added original verse, and the band does justice to singer-songwriter Malcolm Holcombe’s “To the Homeland” and “One Leg at a Time.” “Gideon’s Bible,” by the late Brandon Jenkins, is the band’s homage to the considerable lyrical talents of their sorely missed friend. 

Although Saugeye is relatively new on the music scene, its members boast impressive resumes. Singer songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Tyler began his professional career as the longtime sideman to acclaimed singer-songwriter Malcolm Holcombe. Tyler’s solo releases include Blue Alleluia (2006), featuring guest vocals from Emmylou Harris, Here With You (2010), which was co-produced by Chuck Zwicky, Prince’s mixing engineer, and most recently, and Dirt On Your Hands (2017). Seth Lee Jones is a third-generation guitarist and noted luthier who began his career in his family’s band. Jake Lynn plays drums with Texas country outfit Jason Boland & The Stragglers, and Casey Van Beek was a member of The Tractors, with a long career that includes time alongside Glenn Frey and Don Henley in Linda Ronstadt’s band. 





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Last modified on Saturday, 26 December 2020 12:50