John Lilly is a multi-talented acoustic music performer from Charleston, West Virginia, specializing in Americana, country roots, and traditional folk music. He writes new songs that sound as old as the hills, and performs older songs like they were made yesterday. According to one reviewer, “If Hank Williams had a sunny disposition, he’d be John Lilly.”
John has released four self-produced CDs. His latest release, “Haunted Honky Tonk,” achieved the #1 position on both the Freeform American Roots (FAR) and the Euro Americana radio charts. “Broken Moon,” released in 2000, earned enthusiastic reviews and widespread radio airplay. Bluegrass Unlimited magazine called it one of the “most unusual and interesting acoustic disks of the year.” John’s second CD, “Last Chance to Dance,” released in 2003, debuted at #1 on the FAR radio chart and rose to #4 on the Euro Americana radio chart. His 2005 CD release, “Blue Highway,” is a collaboration with legendary Tennessee fiddler Ralph Blizard.
John is recognized internationally as a powerful performing songwriter. In 2005, he won the national Ghost Writers In the Sky songwriting contest, sponsored by HankFest, a Chicago-based festival honoring the music of Hank Williams. John won a customized guitar for his original song “Blue Highway.” He was a finalist in the 2002 Chris Austin Songwriting Competition at MerleFest in Wilkesboro, North Carolina, chosen from 853 entries and placing third in the Country category for his song "Broken Moon."
John was born in Illinois in 1954 and has traveled and performed widely. A former member of the Green Grass Cloggers dance team, John spent years playing traditional string band music with groups including Ralph Blizard and the New Southern Ramblers. He is a former a tour guide at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in Nashville, and is currently editor of West Virginia’s Goldenseal Magazine.