About The Boxcar Lilies

The Boxcar Lilies

The Short Story

Combining spine-tingling three-part harmony and exceptional songwriting, The Boxcar Lilies have made a name for themselves with their signature mix of folk, country, blues, and bluegrass-tinged Americana music.

Though each member of the Massachusetts-based trio has a distinct singing talent, Jenny Goodspeed (electric bass, guitar), Stephanie Marshall (washboard, guitar), and Susan Cattaneo (guitar) deftly weave their voices into a delicious whole – a sound that is sometimes delicate, sometimes gritty, but always innovative and soul-stirring.

Their trademark harmonies may have put the band on the Americana music map, but their genuine and charming stage presence and off-the-cuff banter helped keep them there. They’ve brought their engaging live show to venues across the Northeast and beyond, including The Iron Horse Music Hall, Caffé Lena, Club Passim, and Philadelphia's Tin Angel.

The trio’s sparkling and lush brand of Americana has led to numerous opportunities including being selected for an official showcase at the International Folk Alliance Conference in Memphis and performing at the 2014 Falcon Ridge Folk Festival as the #1 Most Wanted Emerging Artist.


THE LONG STORY

Combining spine-tingling three-part harmony and exceptional songwriting, The Boxcar Lilies have made a name for themselves with their signature mix of folk, country, blues, and bluegrass-tinged Americana music. Though each member of the Massachusetts-based trio has a distinct singing talent, they deftly weave their voices into a delicious whole – a sound that is sometimes delicate, sometimes gritty, but always innovative and soul-stirring.

Their trademark harmonies may have put the band on the Americana music map, but their genuine and charming stage presence and off-the-cuff banter helped keep them there. They’ve brought their engaging live show to venues across the Northeast and beyond, including The Iron Horse Music Hall, Caffé Lena, Club Passim, and Philadelphia's Tin Angel, as well as performing arts centers including the Calvin Theater (supporting the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band) and many house concerts, wineries and private events.

The trio’s sparkling and lush brand of Americana has led to numerous opportunities including being selected for an official showcase at the International Folk Alliance Conference in Memphis, performing for SRO crowds at the 2015 New Bedford Folk Festival in Massachusetts, being named 2013 Northeast Regional Folk Alliance Formal Showcase Artists, and performing at the 2014 Falcon Ridge Folk Festival as the #1 Most Wanted Emerging Artist.

The Boxcar Lilies recently began an exciting new chapter when award-winning singer-songwriter Susan Cattaneo (guitar) joined Jenny Goodspeed (guitar, electric bass) and Stephanie Marshall (washboard, cajón, guitar) to complete the current Lily line-up. Original band member Katie Clarke retired from the group at the end of 2015 after collaborating on all three of the band’s albums to date.

A Boston area artist with a powerful and versatile voice, Cattaneo combines vivid storytelling with a modern songwriter’s spin. For 15 years, she has been teaching songwriting at the Berklee College of Music. In 2015 alone, Susan was a finalist in the Kerrville New Folk Competition, the International Acoustic Music Awards, the Independent Music Awards, and the USA Songwriting Competition.

Each Lily brings to the stage her own unique influences and inspiration - whether they come from the world of musical theater, 70s singer-songwriters, classic rock or country – but they are united in their shared love (read: obsession) with harmony singing.

An interview published in No Depression casts light their process and commitment: “A lot of the time we’ll just take a song and start riffing and trying things out. Sometimes it goes very quickly. Other times it takes a few rehearsals for us to find the magic. We’re looking for unexpected moments, moments that give us goose-bumps or that create a sound where ‘the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.’ And we don’t rest until we find them!”


KNOCKOUT ROSE

What do you do when you’ve long since settled into a comfortable career and home life and you happen to meet your musical soul mates, the people you’ve been subconsciously searching for since you wrote and sang your first song? For the members of Americana harmony trio The Boxcar Lilies, the answer was easy, you start a band and figure out a way to make it work as you go along, even if it means carving out a somewhat unconventional artistic path.

The Lilies’ newest album, Knockout Rose, encapsulates that improvisational spirit and passion perfectly. A seamless collection of 12 songs spanning folk, country, blues, bluegrass, and Celtic influences, the album brings together the band’s brilliant harmonies with the raw and rootsy sounds of a crew of renowned backing musicians. Featured artists include Mark Erelli (Lori McKenna, Josh Ritter) and Jim Henry (Mary Chapin Carpenter, Eliza Gilkyson) on a wide assortment of guitars and mandolins; Marco Giovino (Robert Plant’s Band of Joy) on drums and found-object inspired percussion, and in-demand upright bass player Jesse Williams (John Hammond, Maria Muldaur).

Serving as the perfect setting for the band’s soulful harmonies and songwriting is the warm, gorgeous production of Lorne Entress (Lori McKenna, Mark Erelli). From a cinematic account of one of the many hundreds of women who disguised themselves as men to fight in the Civil War to a call-to-action to fight the injustice of mountain top removal coal-mining, the deft songwriting craft of the band members is apparent.

Not in my name/The time for waiting has passed/Not in my name/Make your spine like steel/Don’t look away/Let their stories change you/Keep them like a fire that burns inside

Rounding out their collection of deftly crafted original material, The Lilies bring their lush vocal blend to interpretations of choice cover songs including a boot-stomping rendition of Papa Come Quick, a song made famous by Bonnie Raitt in the ‘90s, and a harmony-laden take on the well-loved Karla Bonoff song Home.

Knockout Rose reached #5 on the International Folk DJ album charts and peaked at #3 on the Roots Music Report Contemporary Folk Chart.

QUOTES

"Forty-plus years old isn’t the typical age at which to venture into a career in music, but that didn’t stop the three women who make up this Western Massachusetts group. They play an engaging mix of folky bluegrass and acoustic country with prominent, twining harmonies." --The Boston Globe, Highlights from the Green River Festival

“[The Boxcar Lilies] bring energy, improvisation and a charming presence to the stage each night. Anyone with an ear for folk or luscious harmonies will enjoy these women.” --Cape Cod Times

Each is blessed with a rich and expressive voice. It’s one of the secrets of The Boxcar Lilies’ potent vocal blend. Their music is far too earthy to be described as pretty, call it unabashedly lovely instead. “Folk,” of course, is an elastic term. With The Boxcar Lilies it frequently has a country feel, harkening back to pre-formula days when the narrative still seemed real and the emotions rang true. --The Watershed Post (NY)

"When we think of great harmonies in the contemporary roots music world, we think of bands like The Wailin' Jennys or Red Molly. We can now add The Boxcar Lilies to that list." --The Recorder (Greenfield, MA)

“Rooted in folk tradition, their sound is completely contemporary in the vein of Gillian Welch or Neil Young.” --CMJ.com

"Boy, can these girls sing. The trio of songstresses have beautiful harmony." Southcoast Today (MA), 10 Must See Acts at The New Bedford Folk Festival

"Fusing organic folk harmonies, dueling acoustic guitars, and keen lyricism, Americana trio The Boxcar Lilies debut a sophomore album whose catchiness is matched only by its complexity. At 35 minutes long, the album achieves a refreshing purity grounded in its originality and balance." Valley Advocate (MA), CD Shorts

ARTICLES

Lilies of the Valley --The Hampshire Gazette (MA)

The Boxcar Lilies Are on the Right Track --Concert Blogger Music Magazine

Getting To Know The Boxcar Lilies --No Depression

The Boxcar Lilies' Latest: Knockout Rose --The Recorder (MA)