John Lilly is highly respected as a traditional musician, songwriter and folklorist. He is accomplished on guitar, mandolin, and bass. He sings and yodels in the style of Jimmie Rodgers, accompanying himself with Carter-style guitar. He has a vast repertoire of traditional tunes and songs learned from old-time Appalachian musicians. He was a guide at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in Nashville and a former member of the
Green Grass Cloggers. In 1992, he moved to West Virginia to work for the Augusta Heritage Center. He is a co-founder of Old-Time Music on the Radio to promote the broadcast of traditional music.
John’s string band experiences include playing with the legendary old-time, longbow fiddler, Ralph Blizard (our very first Guest of Honor) and his band, the New Southern Ramblers.
John was a wonderful Guest of Honor who showed us that “A Little Yodel Goes A Long Way”. Another of his original songs, “Broken Moon”, the title of his first CD garnered third place in the songwriting contest at the 2002 MerleFest.
He is currently editor of West Virginia’s Goldenseal magazine and the editor of the book,
Mountains of Music: West Virginia Traditional Music from Goldenseal.