Hillbilly Highway – Catching up with Jacob & Lily

by Sheldon Birnie

Manitoba natives and current Albertans Jacob & Lily are making a few stops here in the Keystone Province this week. Since forming in 2006, this dynamic duo have made over 500 stops along the Hillbilly Highway in support of their award winning disc The Cathedral (2007). Karla Adolphe (aka Lily) took a couple minutes off on the road from Ontario headed West to chat about their latest goings on.

Stylus: You have a new album coming out …

Karla Adolphe: I’m releasing a solo album tomorrow, a free digital album, that I’m realeasing for free on my website. So, that’s what’s happening tomorrow. Caleb (aka Jacob) and I will be heading into the studio in the fall.

Stylus: Tell us a little about your upcoming Manitoba gigs.

KA: Thursday I’m in Boissevain with Caleb, and Friday we have the Folk Exchange show. The other shows are solo shows.

Stylus: Can you give us some background on Jacob & Lily?

KA: I met Caleb, when he was a teenager. He’s a fabulous drummer. He came on tour with me in 2005, as a solo artist, and I just loved how he added to my songs. In 2006 we started writing and performing as a duo, and we released our album The Cathedral, which was nomimated for a CFMA in 2007. It’s him on percussion and me on guitar and singing. It’s a high energy. We do lots of interaction with the crowd, sing along that kind of stuff.

Stylus: How does that differ from your solo act?

KA: With Jacob & Lily, we arrange the songs together, write the songs together, decide what we’re going to do with the songs together. My solo stuff is a little more contemplative. A little less high energy. And I do all of that by myself.

Stylus: Have you started writing for the new record?

KA: Yeah. We live in the same town now, after 5 years. We’ve started writing, kind of rearranging some old songs, which we’ll be debuting on Friday.

Stylus: As of now how does the new stuff differ from The Cathedral stuff?

KA: Much more high energy. The Cathedral was a lot darker. We’ve also started experimenting with looping technology, which has been really fun. We have two stations, so Caleb has been experimenting with background vocals and drum creations. We won’t be doing this this weekend, because we’re not quite ready, but yeah. What it has done has allowed us to delve into a little bit more of a world music sound. He can layer the rhythms, and I as well can layer background vocals and guitar parts. Our trajectory is a little more world, a little more blues, more layered. It’s not exclusively like that backbeat folk thing.

Stylus: What does Jacob & Lily summer look like?

KA: We’re doing some shows in Alberta where we live. I’m really focusing on this solo album. We’re not doing any festivals but we’re taking the summer to write and record and get back into things.

Catch Jacob & Lily at the Folk Exchange Friday, May 18th.

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