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The Hillbenders

The HillBenders present
Tommy: a Bluegrass Opry

Saturday, April 1st at 8pm

The HillBenders Play Songs On The Who's Hit Album Tommy Played With A Bluegrass Twist - Opening Act


“Ever since I was a young boy, I played the silver ball.” This may not be 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 South By Southwest (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.

Originally composed by guitarist Pete Townshend, the rock opera Tommy by The Who tells the story about a deaf, dumb and blind boy, including his experiences with life and the relationship with his family. The original album has sold 20 million copies and has been inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame for "historical, artistic and significant value." In 2003, Rolling Stone magazine ranked Tommy No. 96 on its list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.

Meyers had been looking for the right band to pull off this high-wire bluegrass approach for several decades and The HillBenders were the right band.

With a perfect mix of virtuoso musicianship and rock-star vocals, The HillBenders bring Pete Townshend’s original vision to life in a new and exciting way. It’s amazing to hear banjo, dobro, mandolin, bass, and guitar bring the same energy and vision to Tommy as The Who did with a full rock band and orchestra.

Opening Act: GrassStreet

GrassStreet, from Vance County in central North Carolina, has entertained fans of all ages since 2003. Their mixture of original material and Bluegrass standards along with their unique ability to cover musical styles ranging from Rock to Blues to Jazz set them apart from the average bluegrass band. They pride themselves on an entertaining and high energy stage show full of the right balance of musical precision and humor. With influences ranging from the traditional sounds of Flatt & Scruggs to the progressive sounds of Seldom Scene and Tony Rice and with members with backgrounds in various styles of music--there's always something for every listener at a GrassStreet show.

Earlier Event: March 11
Feet Don't Fail Me Now
Later Event: April 7
Raleigh Flute Choir