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Can you imagine a black Lucinda Williams? Not like when she plays the blues torn from her first albums, no. A black Lucinda Williams in pop, rhythm, blues and even gender roots Americana. So it sounds, if you can imagine such a hodgepodge somehow, the latest album from this brutal, original, explosive singer.”

— El Descodificador, Vanity Fair


Release Date: Gild The Black Lily

Gild The Black Lily Album Release Date: March 25th
Pre-order via iTunes and Bandcamp on March 5th Personnel:
Hilliard Greene, bass
Jeff McLaughlin, acoustic + electric guitars
Gregory Lewis, organ
Boo Reiners, acoustic + electric guitars
Ben Rubin, bass
Shirazette Tinnin, drums

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Not really a blues album, yet aptly tagged as ‘Black Americana,’ NYC-via-Austin super-side-woman Queen Esther melds roots. pop and R&B in a way that Lucinda Williams, Melissa Etheridge and Sheryl Crow never could on their best days. ”

— Amplifier Magazine


Black Americana at its finest.

Vocalist. Solo Performer. Producer. Songwriter. Topliner. Musician. Playwright. Librettist.

Gild The Black Lily’s Black Americana sound was curated by Harlem-based vocalist, songwriter, musician, and producer Queen Esther. She was raised in Atlanta, Georgia and rooted in Charleston, South Carolina’s culturally rich and enigmatic Lowcountry, a region with African traditions and Black folkways that span centuries and continue to inform her work.  Her creative output musically is the culmination of several important Southern elements, not the least of which are years of recording and touring internationally as frontwoman for several projects with her mentor, harmolodic guitar icon James “Blood” Ulmer, including a stint in his seminal band Odyssey.   

These 13 songs include originals from Queen Esther as well as covers from Son House, Chip Robinson of The Backsliders, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, The Eagles, and George Jones, with performances from guitarist Boo Reiners (Demolition String Band), bassist Hilliard Greene (Little Jimmy Scott), organist and Thelonious Monk specialist Gregory Lewis, guitarist Jeff McLaughlin and drummer Shirazette Tinnin.

With each song, the Blackness that raised her moves steadily from The Old West (The Black Cowgirl Song) and the foundations of the Black church (John The Revelator) to heartbreak (He Thinks I Still Care) with soulful declarations (All That We Are) and country-rock reworked into black country soul (Take It To The Limit) and back again. Ultimately, the album illuminates other facets of the Black sonic experience.