The HillBenders & Seldom Scene

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The HillBenders: Presenting  The Who’s TOMMY: A Bluegrass Opry

More than four decades after its original release, The Who’s famous Rock Opera “Tommy”  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.

Meyers had been looking for the right band to pull off this high-wire bluegrass approach for several decades, and he found 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.

In this performance, you’ll 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.


Seldom Scene

Seldom Scene_forwebAs one of the first bluegrass bands to embrace a non-traditional approach, Seldom Scene is known for stretching the boundaries of bluegrass. They’ve embraced artists such as Bob Dylan and the Grateful Dead while mixing it up with Merle Haggard and traditional tunes as well. As it was from their first days with signature tenor singer John Duffey, the band is still known for its soaring and  incredibly tight, vocal gymnastics.

With a body of work stretching back to 1971 and early collaborations with music icons such as Emmylou Harris, Linda Ronstadt and Jonathan Edwards, Seldom Scene is easily one on the most recognizable bluegrass bands on the circuit today.

Today the band includes Rickie Simpkins on banjo, Dudley Connell on guitar (formerly of the Johnson Mt. Boys), Fred Travers on dobro, Lou Reid on mandolin (formerly with Ricky Skaggs) and Ronnie Simpkins on bass (formerly with The Tony Rice Unit). Sometimes irreverent, always entertaining, the Scene’s legend continues growing into the 21st century.

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