Satellite radio subscribers can spend Independence Day weekend with the bluegrass re-telling of The Who’s iconic rock opera
The HillBenders’ live performance of Tommy: A Bluegrass Opry has been winning praise from both critics and fans throughout the world. Now Sirius XM’s Outlaw Country channel will make it possible for subscribers to hear this bluegrass re-telling of The Who’s iconic rock opera during the July 4th weekend, airing the band’s full performance of Tommy on Saturday, July 4 at 9am and 5pm ET, and Sunday, July 5 at 12noon and 9pm ET.
“The HillBenders’ performance of Tommy in its entirety was one of the more spirited and memorable sessions we’ve had here in recent years,” said Jeremy Tepper, Program Director for Sirius XM’s Outlaw Country Channel. The band performed Tommy: A Bluegrass Opry at the Sirius XM studios in New York during an East Coast run of dates earlier in the month.
The plaudits for The HillBenders’ Tommy: A Bluegrass Opry project on Compass Records continues to build across the globe, with The Sydney Morning Herald bestowing a 4-star review: “This is no novelty record. The five members…have taken the amped-up energy of the original and powered it into a blazing, swinging alternative version of the young pinball wizard's life and times.”
Music fans are responding strongly to the videos from Compass Records project, too. "Pinball Wizard" has surpassed 30,000 views on YouTube so far, with The Bluegrass Situation noting that “on their version of ‘Pinball Wizard,’ a banjo takes over the iconic guitar riff, with dobro and acoustic guitar handling the song's powerful, chugging rhythm guitar section.” The band’s video for "We're Not Gonna To Take It/See Me, Feel Me" just recently debuted via The Who’s social media sites.
The HillBenders continue their summer of touring, with upcoming dates at Frisco Historic Concert in the Park (Frisco, CO, July 9), High Mountain Hay Fever Festival (Westcliffe, CO, July 10/11), Grey Fox music festival (Oak Hill, NY July 18), Club Passim (Cambridge, MA July 19), Runyon Theater (Pueblo, CO July 22), Stargazers Theatre (Colorado Springs, CO July 23), 4th and Main Downtown Grille (Wrey, CO July 24), Wildflower Pavilion (Lyons, CO July 25) Evanston Space (Evanston, IL July 31), The Old Rock House (St. Louis, MO August 1), The Hi-Fi (Indianapolis, IN August 12), Music Box Supper Club (Cleveland, OH August 13), Harrisburg Midtown Art Center, Herr Street Stage (Dillsburg, PA August 14), Philadelphia Folk Festival on August 15 and many more. For the full tour schedule, visit www.whograss.com or www.hillbenders.com.
LIVE at the 2015
High Meadow Stage
Thursday, July 16 at 4pm
Saturday, July 18 at 4pm
Sunday, July 19 at 1pm
"The HillBenders, a talented five-piece band from Missouri, proved to be the perfect group to execute this 'Whograss' concept." –Rolling Stone
The HillBenders, a dynamic bluegrass quintet from Springfield, MO, have been stunning audiences across America with their with their high-octane shows, tight harmonies and instrumental prowess.
The “Bluegrass Opry,” as its been dubbed, brings a new perspective to TOMMY while paying homage to its creators. Originally recorded with a full rock band, the dynamic bluegrass quintet recreated the legendary album with a banjo (Mark Cassidy), Dobro (Chad “Gravy Boat” Graves), mandolin (Nolan Lawrence), bass (Gary Rea), and guitar (Jim Rea).
"Aside from their instrumental mastery, there is a playfulness to their music that falls somewhere between old time, bluegrass, swing, and what we used to call ‘new acoustic’.” —Bluegrass Today
Mr. Sun is a new collaboration between four of American string band music’s most prolific virtuosos. Spearheaded by legendary fiddler Darol Anger (Turtle Island String Quartet/Montreux), the members of Mr. Sun span three generations and create a sound that draws from bluegrass, jazz and contemporary classical themes.
Mr. Sun features Anger, one of the most iconic fiddlers alive today, along with a trio of young but seasoned professionals: vocalist and mando monster Joe Walsh (The Gibson Brothers), flatpicker extraordinaire Grant Gordy (David Grisman Quintet/ Sextet), and the phenomenal bassist Ethan Jodziewicz (Sierra Hull). The musical personalities comprised in Mr. Sun are strongly independent, but the quartet comes together with love and humor that are evident in every melody they play together.
"The Simpson sisters deliver tales of home and heartland- and of missing them- over the infectious amalgam of country, roots, and folk." -Rolling Stone
(Nashville, TN) June 17, 2015– Beloved Australian folk rock band The Waifs will be releasing Beautiful You on August 14th. A strong sense of melody and affecting, illustrative lyricism guided The Waifs’ songwriting trifecta of Donna Simpson, Vikki Thorn and Josh Cunningham as they wrote Beautiful You over the course of four years. With bassist Ben Franz and drummer David Ross Macdonald, the 5-piece outfit created an album that echoes with both wisdom and pop appeal.
The trip that began in a van in 1992, with the three troubadours playing gigs anywhere in Australia that would have them, has led The Waifs to multiple ARIA awards, platinum albums and successful tours across the world, including opening for Bob Dylan in North America and Australia in 2003. True to form, Beautiful You features their trademark sound: "a bit of Blues and Roots, a bit of Country, a bit of Jazz, anything really."
Summer Tour Dates
The Who Premieres The HillBenders' Video
for "We're Not Gonna Take It/See Me Feel Me"
Tommy: A Bluegrass Opry Debuts at #3
on Billboard Top Bluegrass Albums Chart!
The HillBenders begin the first leg of their tour tonight in Bethesda, Maryland with performances of Tommy: A Bluegrass Opry, a bluegrass retelling of The Who’s iconic rock opera. The band’s performances of the album, which was produced by Louis Jay Meyers and released last week via Compass Records, will be at both venues and festivals througout the summer.
Tommy: A Bluegrass Opry continues to collect critical praise as a live performance. Rolling Stone including the band’s Austin show in the magazine’s “50 Best Things We Saw At SXSW 2015” list, and Billboard noted that their “…ambitiously and audaciously rendered version of ‘Tommy’ in its entirety was well worth standing in the rain to hear.”
The plaudits for the album itself continues to build, as well. Critic for Bluegrass Today and Lonesome Road Review, Aaron Keith Harris, calls the record, “a triumph.” Country Standard Time wrote that, “The HillBenders have done the inexplicable…[they] challenge the listener to re-hear music that has been a part of our soundtrack for more than 40 years.” Veteran critic Gary Graff said that the Compass Records project is “trippy, but a worthwhile trip,” while New York Music Daily calls it, “droll but perfectly executed.”
June Tour Dates
Performances of Tommy: A Bluegrass Opry, played in its entirety, are bolded.
6/11/15 North Bethesda, MD – AMP by Strathmore
6/13/15 Wind Gap, PA – Wind Gap Bluegrass Festival
6/14/15 Buffalo, NY – The Sportsmen’s Tavern
6/15/15 Toronto, ON – Hugh’s Room
6/16/15 Troy, NY – The Ale House
6/17/15 Malvern, PA – Valley Creek Park
6/18/15 New York, NY – Rockwood Music Hall 2
6/19/15 Rochester, NY – Rochester International Jazz Festival
6/20/15 Cross Fork, PA – Smoked Country Jam
6/21/15 Worthington, OH – Natalie’s Coal Fired Pizza
Upcoming performances this summer include the Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival (Oak Hill, NY July 18) and Philadelphia Folk Festival on August 15. For the full tour schedule, visit www.whograss.com or www.hillbenders.com.
Available August 7th
"His swaggery growl goes tender in the right places; his tunes are sturdy but graceful, like the curve of something hand-carved."
-Los Angeles Times
Producer/musician Mark Hallman (Carole King, Ani DiFranco) joined Long at Congress House Studios in Austin, Texas to record the album during a two week period in the fall of 2014. Ode to Thinking was made possible by a hugely successful PledgeMusic campaign. “It is incredibly gratifying that so many people wanted to help me make the new record,” Long says of the support. “This community has been with me for every step of the journey.
Long first gained international attention in 2008 when he co-wrote a song with musician Marcus Foster that found its way into the first film of the immensely popular Twilight series. The global impact of the film focused attention on him and spurred his move to America. Now writing and touring are a way of life.
In addition to supporting major artists including Steve Winwood, Iron & Wine, Rodrigo y Gabriela and Brett Dennen, Long headlines his own shows where his music and irreverent sense of humor have earned him steadfast fans and invitations to play high profile festivals like Bonnaroo, Austin City Limits, the Dave Matthews Band Caravan and Bamboozle.
1. Ode To Thinking
2. Cold Hearted Lover Of Mine
3. I'm Not Going Out Tonight
4. Treat Me Like A Stranger
5. Kill Someone
6. Something Blue, Something Barrowed
8. The Dark Won't Get Darker
9. The Song The Kids Sing
11. That Little Place
1. Aug 1 - McCabe's - Los Angeles, CA
2. Aug 8 - Jammin' Java - Washington, DC
3. Aug 11 - Club Cafe - Pittsburgh, PA
4. Aug 12 - Musica - Akron, OH
5. Aug 13 - Rumba Cafe - Columbus, OH
6. Aug 14 - Southgate House (Revival Room) - Cincinnati, OH/Newport, KY
7. Aug 15 - The Grey Eagle - Asheville, NC
8. Aug 18 - Zanzabar - Louisville, KY
9. Aug 20 - Rozz Tox - Rock island, IL
10. Aug 24 - The Frequency - Madison, WI
11. Aug 25 - Firebird - St. Louis, MO
12. Aug 28 - Record Bar - Kansas City, MO
13. Aug 29 - Blue Door - Oklahoma City, OK
14. Aug 30 - Sam's Burger Joint - San Antonio, TX
15. Sept 2 - Cactus Club - Austin, TX
16. Sept 3 - Poor David's Pub - Dallas, TX
17. Sept 4 - Warehouse Live - Huston, TX
18. Sept 25 - World Live Cafe - Wilmington, DE
19. Sept 26 - The Linda - Albany, NY
20. Sept 27 - The Kate - Old Saybrook, CT