Sometimes second impressions are the most lasting. Country singer Lillie Mae first appeared on Conan as a member of rocker Jack White’s backing band, returning last night for her solo national TV debut. She gave a scorching performance of “Over the Hill and Through the Woods,” the lead single from her White-produced LP Forever and Then Some (out today on Third Man Records).
“I never saw you comin’ / I sure didn’t think you’d be gone so soon,” Lillie Mae croons at the tune’s kickoff. And within a minute, and on a dime, the singer’s heart-attack-serious death stare turns to a smile as she sings of a lost lover who left her mind aching.
“I was definitely going through a rough spell during the time of writing a lot of those songs,” Lillie Mae tells Rolling Stone Country. “Just me making the wrong decision time and time again, not standing strong with who you are and letting other things come in and take over. I just, I’m a sucker, and I get my heart broke really easy [laughs]. I lay it out, it’s all there, and then I’m devastated!”
Devastation be damned, the smiles continued as the singer turned the television studio into a Nashville honky-tonk, trading licks with brother and guitarist Frank Rische (who cut his teeth along with Lillie Mae in acclaimed family band Jypsi), sister Grace Rische on harmonies, bassist Brian Zonn and drummer Tanner Jacobsen. As a bonus, also check out the Conan web exclusive below of the siblings knocking out some killer harmonies with a stripped-down, bluegrass-y take on Forever‘s “To Go Wrong.”