The Hillbenders

“This sure ain’t your father’s bluegrass. The HillBenders load creative volatility and virtuoso Americana into a powder keg of expressive, acoustic stringdom.” – Mark Uricheck, Elmore Magazine

Formed in April of 2008, and still touring with the original lineup, The HillBenders have firmly established their presence as one of the most energetic and engaging progressive acoustic bands on the scene and they continue to wow audiences from stages around the contry and around the world. Just over three years ago the band shifted their focus away from original music to tackle their recent critically-acclaimed "Tommy: A Bluegrass Opry" release. This was a strategic choice for a band that first made their name with a barrage of catchy, original songs. While it proved to be an extremely successful decision, vaulting the band onto the global stage, it took the bands time and attention away from their roots and from the very music that started their career. Now The HillBenders have shifted their focus back onto their originals and have released their fourth studio album, appropriately and eponymously titled "The HillBenders". Many of the songs have been shared in live settings over the last couple years as they band toured in support ot "Tommy" but never have they been recorded until now.

TOMMY

“Ever since I was a young boy I played the silver ball”

Maybe not your standard bluegrass lyric, but a line known by all the world from the biggest rock opera of all time, The Who’s Tommy.

45 years after its original release, this classic of classic rock has now been fully realized as a full length bluegrass tribute featuring Springfield, Missouri’s The HillBenders. Conceived and produced by SXSW co-founder and longtime musician/producer Louis Jay Meyers, this Bluegrass Opry brings a new perspective to Tommy while paying total respect to its creators.

The HillBenders are one of the few bluegrass groups that recognize their ability to bridge the gap between the common music consumer and the bluegrass genre, selecting material that defies any hillbilly stigmas. With their widely varied influences, they are trying to bring to bluegrass songs that unify. “We wanted to pair bluegrass with the other music we grew up with —rock and roll!”