Bluegrass in Bulgaria

We’ve been in communication recently with Lilly Drumeva, a real bluegrass Renaissance woman who is hard at work promoting and performing the music in her native Bulgaria. She hosts a television program which runs twice each week on national TV, two separate radio shows, and also manages and leads Bulgaria’s only bluegrass band, Lilly Of The West. The band features Lilly on guitar and vocal, Yassen Vassilev on guitar, Vladimir Michailov on fiddle/viola, Svoboda Bozduganova on bass, and Jesse Brock on mandolin.

Many American/Canadian artists and labels are not aware of the Eastern Europeans’ interest in bluegrass, or may be reluctant to bear the cost of sending new projects overseas. Lilly is always on the lookout for CDs she can use on the radio, and DVDs for the TV show, and asked us to pass along the address where bands and labels can send materials for airplay, along with a request to please assist her efforts to spread bluegrass by sending new releases her way.

Lilly Drumeva
Retro Radio/ BBT TV
Marin Drinov 25/3

She can also be reached by email.

Lily described her various broadcasting efforts for us:

“My TV show is called Country with Lilly (Kuntri s Lili – in Bulgarian). It is broadcast twice a week – every Saturday and Sunday, 11:30 ’till midnight on Balkan Bulgarian Television (BBT). They are 2 different shows which are repeated on Friday night. The show has 3 sections: Country Classics, New Country and Country Live. I feature a lot of bluegrass in Country Live. Sometimes I also have guest musicians in the studio to promote their projects.

My first radio show is called In The Mood with Lilly (Nastroenie s Lili). It is every Sunday from 11 till 1.00 a.m on RETRO RADIO. I am the co-owner of the station. the web site is in Bulgarian, but my show can be heard live. The accents of the program is oldies – 50s, 60s music plus rockabilly and bluegrass.

My second radio show is on the Bulgarian National Radio, every Friday from 9 till 11 p.m. It is called Pulsating Notes (Pulsirasti Noti) and presents the new releases in country music, charts according to Billboard, etc. I feature also a lot of bluegrass and independent artists. The website is also in Bulgarian.”

Our hats are off to Lilly the trailblazer, for her work spreading the music, as well as her entrepreneurial spirit. May her efforts bear great fruit for bluegrass.

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About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.