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The Hillbenders Present The Who’s Tommy: A Bluegrass Opry

Special Guest Sarah Borges

Genre : Bluegrass

February 18

6:30pm Doors //

7:30pm Show

Advance Price: $20 / Day Of: $25

The HillBenders

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

Originally composed by guitarist Pete Townshend as a rock opera that 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 number 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 are 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

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!” say HillBender Nolan Lawrence.

*Sarah Borges has spent the last decade touring, learning and transforming
from Americana chanteuse to American music journeywoman. Her sound remains
as eclectic as ever, representing what Borges likes to call “the sum total
sound of my record collection”: a little bit twangy, some kind of cowpunk
and a whole lot of hearfelt rock and roll. *

*Together with her band the Broken Singles and also as a solo artist,
Borges has logged some serious touring hours in almost all of the great 48
as well as in Europe. She’s been nominated for an Americana Music Award,
won multiple Boston Music Awards, and has had songs featured in The Sons of
Anarchy and The Night Shift.*

*Most importantly though, Sarah Borges has earned a reputation as an
immensely engaging live performer. Audience participation, storytelling
and spontaneity add a unique element to a show that features stellar songs
and Borges’s tough and tender voice.*

All sales are final. All performances are 21+ unless noted on the event page.

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