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 five self-produced CDs. “Haunted Honky Tonk” achieved the #1 position on both the Freeform American Roots (FAR) and the Euro Americana radio charts in November 2007. “Broken Moon,” released in 2000, earned enthusiastic reviews and widespread radio airplay. 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's latest CD, "John Lilly Live on Red Barn Radio," released in 2010, features Lilly in an intimate solo setting.
John is recognized internationally as a powerful performing songwriter. He was the winner of the 2010 “Next Great Road Song” contest, sponsored by Midas and Spin, out of more than 1,200 song entries. In 2005, he won the national Ghost Writers In the Sky songwriting contest, 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 for his song "Broken Moon."
John was born in Illinois in 1954 and has traveled and performed widely, including three tours of Scotland and visits to 48 states. 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.