The Hillbenders 'Can You Hear Me' - Compass Records

This 2012 release came my way as a reminder of the fact that this very edgy bluegrass band is heading our way in 2015. They first came to my attention with their first album, Down To My Last Dollar, a few years back and they have featured regularly on my Lonesome Highway radio shows since then.

The Hillbenders are young, energetic band from Springfield, MO, and for me, were one of the first of the recent group of highly talented tradition-bending bluegrass bands to give me faith in the future of Mr Monroe’s chosen musical brand. Keeping one and a half feet firmly planted in bluegrass tradition they dip their toes in the very risky tent emptying waters of modern acoustic music. With a strong backbone of dobro and banjo they take each track to a different level of their idea of what today’s young people expect from today’s young bands. Guitar, mandolin and bass all played to a ridiculously high standard make this a stand-out album for me. 

Ten vocal tracks and two instrumentals  and a new version for Mick Hanly to add to his brimming collection of Past The Point Rescue more than fits the bill for me. They have also developed a very catch graphic style which again lifts them above the most of new bands treading the tour circuit these days. Finally having written eight of the twelve tracks I reckon The Hillbenders’ album deserves support while you prepare yourself for an interesting visit in 2015.