If you go
What: Mountain Stage
When: 7 p.m. Sunday
Where: Culture Center Theater
Tickets: $15 in advance, $25 at the door
Info:www.mountainstage.org or 800-594-8499
FYI: The lineup for Sunday's show includes Over the Rhine, Susan Werner, The Black Lillies, Vienna Teng and Brendan James.
Cruz Contreras would have made a great name for a baseball player.
Contreras tried, he really did.
"That was my first pursuit. I was pretty obsessive about it," he said. In his earlier childhood days in Michigan and then Ohio, he was an avid player.
Still, his parents were hopeful he'd find a place in his life for music. His dad came from a musical family and was a classically trained pianist, though it was mostly his hobby.
"Every time I'd sign up for baseball, he'd said, 'That's cool. But you have to sign up for piano lessons for me,' "Contreras recalled. "I think he knew I'd come back to it."
When his dad's job took the family to Tennessee when he was 12, the transition to music began. See how that all worked out when his current band, The Black Lillies, joins the lineup at Mountain Stage on Sunday.
It was teenage boredom that brought Contreras back to music.
"When we moved to Franklin, Tenn., my little brother Billy, who was eight years younger than I am, saw a video of Charlie Daniels playing the fiddle - it was probably 'Devil Went Down to Georgia' and he freaked. He said. 'I want a fiddle and I want to make sparks with it,'" Contreras recalled.
His parents relented and entered the child into a class that taught the Suzuki method.
"He's playing like a Kleenex box with a stick - he was a good sport about it. And after a year, he was like, 'Hello, I want a fiddle, like Charlie Daniels.'"
Contreras at this point was a bored teenager in a new town who didn't know anybody.
"So I sat down at the piano. And my brother comes home one day and he's won all this money at a fiddle contest."