CMT Comes to Knoxville to Film the Black Lillies

Black Lillies, CMT Shoot, Old City, Knoxville, April 2013
Black Lillies, CMT Shoot, Old City, Knoxville, April 2013

The Black Lillies, whose new album “Runaway Freeway Blues” has just debuted at number forty-three on the Billboard Country Music Chart and who just made their fifteenth appearance on the Grand Ole Opry seem to be on the verge of country music stardom. Accolades are pouring in from around the country for the new disc and the Tennessee Theatre was packed just over a week ago for their homecoming CD release party.

A Crowd Gathers for the CMT-Black Lillies Shoot, Old City, Knoxville, April 2013
A Crowd Gathers for the CMT-Black Lillies Shoot, Old City, Knoxville, April 2013
CMT Power Source, Old City, Knoxville, April 2013
CMT Power Source, Old City, Knoxville, April 2013

Need another sign they are getting ready for prime time? CMT which, according to their representative who explained the plan for the evening to the crowd, CMT has never done a similar shoot outside Nashville. They traveled to Knoxville to shoot video of three songs for a special to air on CMT in prime time, probably this summer. The three songs were each recorded twice to make certain a good take was secured.

Getting the Sound Set, Black Lillies Shoot, Old City, Knoxville, April 2013
Getting the Sound Set, Black Lillies Shoot, Old City, Knoxville, April 2013
CMT Representative Gives Directions to the Crowd, Old City, Knoxville, April 2013
CMT Representative Gives Directions to the Crowd, Old City, Knoxville, April 2013

A crowd of about two hundred comprised of ardent fans and friends, as well as a few people who happened by and noticed the commotion, heard mostly acoustic versions of “The Fall,” “Smokestack Lady,” and “All This Living,” each from the new album. Other than one false start in which Cruze stumbled over the lyrics, the band played and sang the songs perfectly through two times each. The best take of each one will be included in the show.

Jamie Cook, Black Lillies CMT Shoot, Old City, Knoxville, April 2013
Jamie Cook, Black Lillies CMT Shoot, Old City, Knoxville, April 2013
Cruz Contreras, Black Lillies CMT Shoot, Old City, Knoxville, April 2013
Cruz Contreras, Black Lillies CMT Shoot, Old City, Knoxville, April 2013

After making it through the shoot, the band relaxed a bit and played, “Ruby,” which is also from their excellent new album. At that point the show ended and the crews from CMT began packing their equipment. The filming took place in the parking lot across from the Crown and Goose in the Old City and I think Knoxville will look pretty good shot from that angle. It’s pretty significant that the band was filmed here, rather than on some picturesque, but generic street in Nashville.

Tom Pryor of the Black Lillies, Old City, Knoxville, April 2013
Tom Pryor of the Black Lillies, Old City, Knoxville, April 2013
Cruz Contreras and Trisha Gene Brady, Black Lillies CMT Shoot, Old City, Knoxville, April 2013
Cruz Contreras and Trisha Gene Brady, Black Lillies CMT Shoot, Old City, Knoxville, April 2013

There were at least six movie cameras recording the event and quite a few still cameras that put mine to shame. I’m not sure if any of the photographers using still cameras were from CMT, but they certainly had the equipment to take serious shots. Additionally, one person worked a mixing board while one or two others directed.

Cameramen and Trisha Gene Brady, Black Lillies CMT Video Shoot, Old City, Knoxville, April 2013
Cameramen and Trisha Gene Brady, Black Lillies CMT Video Shoot, Old City, Knoxville, April 2013

I am pleased to report that I used all manual settings as I took just under one hundred fifty photographs. I deleted over one hundred of them and while that sounds like my good-photo percentage was low, I will point out that it was dark and large lights pointed at the band from multiple angles changing my required settings as I moved around or even as I tilted the camera in any direction. So, I thought I did alright. At least I’m understanding the object, though I can’t always get the right exposure. This is painful.

Black Lillies CMT Video Shoot, Old City, Knoxville, April 2013
Black Lillies CMT Video Shoot, Old City, Knoxville, April 2013
Black Lillies CMT Shoot, Old City, Knoxville, April 2013
Black Lillies CMT Shoot, Old City, Knoxville, April 2013

In the end, it was a great night for the Black Lillies and a great night for Knoxville music. If you are missing this wave of great sounds, you better get on board. Some of our local trains are leaving town.

Setting Sound and Video, Black Lillies CMT Video Shoot, Old City, Knoxville, April 2013
Setting Sound and Video, Black Lillies CMT Video Shoot, Old City, Knoxville, April 2013