Ozarks-Based HillBenders Guitarist Jim Rea On Bluegrass, Mixing Genres And Opening For The Who | St. Louis Public Radio

Ozarks-Based HillBenders Guitarist Jim Rea On Bluegrass, Mixing Genres And Opening For The Who

May 22, 2019

The HillBenders will open for The Who at Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre Thursday night.
Credit The HillBenders

English rock band The Who first released “Tommy,” the wildly successful rock opera, on May 23, 1969 – exactly 50 years ago this Thursday, when Springfield, Missouri-based bluegrass band The HillBenders will open for The Who at Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre.

It might seem an unlikely concert pairing, except that The HillBenders’ 2015 album is a full-length Tommy tribute, bluegrass-opry style.

St. Louis on the Air producer Evie Hemphill caught up with Jim Rea, the group’s guitarist and musical director, as he and the rest of the HillBenders anticipated sharing a stage with The Who.

Listen to the conversation, which also includes several Who and HillBenders songs:

Related Event
What: The Who and The HillBenders
When: Thursday, May 23, 2019
Where: Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre (14141 Riverport Dr., Maryland Heights, MO 63043)

St. Louis on the Air” brings you the stories of St. Louis and the people who live, work and create in our region. The show is produced by Alex Heuer, Evie Hemphill and Lara Hamdan. The engineer is Aaron Doerr and the call screener is Charlie McDonald.

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