The HillBenders Sure Play A Mean Pinball: A Bluegrass Opry

Tommy: A Bluegrass OpryThis week on The Music Room, we chatted with Nolan Lawrence, member of  The HillBenders, about their current Bluegrass Opry worldwide tour of The Who’s Tommy. The HillBenders, along with music producer Louis Jay Meyers, created the Bluegrass Opry as a tribute to The Who’s original composition to the rock opera. Meyers, wanting to create the Opry for several years, chose to work with The HillBenders due their success in bridging the gap between the general public and bluegrass listeners.

The HillBenders identify as a bluegrass group with acoustic rock tones. By combining sounds from their California and Missouri backgrounds, the group brings a new perspective to The Who’s original work. The HillBenders have been on tour for the Bluegrass Opry for the last 18 months, and will be playing at Baby Grand in downtown Wilmington on Sunday, March 26 at 7pm.

The Interview

Nolan Lawrence of The HillBenders hosted by Mandorichard. Recorded live on March 21, 2017.
40.5 MB

About Our Guest

The HillBenders are a bluegrass rock band that have played together for the last nine years. The group consists of five members: Nolan Lawrence (Mandolin), Gary Rea (Bass),  Jim Rea (Guitar), Mark Cassidy (Banjo), and Chad ‘Gravyboat’ Graves (Dobro). The HillBenders have recorded three albums with Compass Records: Down To My Last Dollar (2010), Can You Hear Me? (2012), and Tommy: A Bluegrass Opry (2015). Currently, the group tours worldwide, performing hits from Tommy as well as their original music.

The Music

Artist Song Album Year
The HillBenders Radio Can You Hear Me? 2012
The HillBenders Pinball Wizard Tommy: A Bluegrass Opry 2015

Learn More

Mandorichard: Producer, host, recording engineer, audio editor
Sam O’Donnell: Web page author and editor