Rocky mountains, the Great Salt Lake, awe-inspiring Yosemite, Midwestern plains, and a deep, dark cave all mark a great journey ahead for Alt-Grass revolutionist, The Hillbenders. Embarking from their hometown of Springfield, MO, the rapidly emerging stars will travel half the country this Fall on their Half Moon Harvest Tour, reaching CO, UT, WY, CA, OK, MO, IL, AR, and TN. The Hillbenders are ready to rock a town near you, officially kicking off the tour on August 21 in Wray, Colorado.
The Hillbenders will quickly find themselves in the shadows of breath-taking Yosemite National Park to perform at the Strawberry Fall Music Festival on September 1. The event is held annually at Camp Mather Labor Day weekend, which boarders the park at an elevation of 4,520 feet in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Situated on 350 acres of mountains, meadows, and pine forest, the festival line up shines as The Hillbenders share the stage with the Del McCoury Band, Peter Rowan's Big Twang Theory, Patty Griffin, The Jerry Douglas Band, and more.
The band's down-time on the west coast will be dedicated to seeing the awe-inspiring sights of Yosemite. “We planned some days off while in CA to have a chance to play around in the park and see the cool sights,” Nolan shared. “We love to travel, but so many times you’re in and out of an event, and don’t get to experience the area. From everything I’ve heard, the park is amazing! It’s great to get back to nature and soak it all in,” he said.
The Hillbenders will then head back towards home, making a stop along the way to perform at The Mercury Lounge in Tulsa, OK on September 5. The following day, September 6, the guys pay tribute to their hometown heritage at the 16th Annual Ozarks Celebration Festival held on the campus of Missouri State University in Springfield. The festival offers an entertaining and educational look at the region's culture and history. The band will be performing as part of the ‘Concert Under The Stars’ series, opening for award-winning singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Rhonda Vincent & The Rage.
The Hillbenders momentum continues through September and October with performances spanning the Midwest. Look for them at Mother’s Brewery Octoberfest, Melon Days Fall Festival, St. Louis Folk & Roots Festival, RiverStomp Music Festival, and Barefoot Ball at the Basin Park Hotel in Eureka Springs, AR. They end October back in their hometown of Springfield, MO for a show at the Patton Alley Pub on October 25 before packing up again and heading east for two more big shows.
On November 13, The Hillbenders make a special appearance at The Loveless Café in Nashville, TN to perform on Music City Roots. The weekly, two-hour concert and radio show broadcasts live every Wednesday from 7-9 pm (CST), with a mission of reviving and preserving “the historical legacy of live musical radio.” Friends and fans can tune in and view the live video stream from anywhere in the world for this show! Get more information by visiting their website at www.musiccityroots.com.
Finally, they will end their Half Moon Harvest Tour at a one-of-a-kind underground concert hall. On November 16, The Hillbenders debut at Bluegrass Underground with the John Cowan Band. Bluegrass Underground is a radio show recorded live at 333 feet below the earth’s crust at Cumberland Caverns in McMinnville, TN. The show takes place inside the cave in a natural amphitheater called the Volcano Room, carved out by water an estimated 3.5 million years ago. The primordial silence and perpetual darkness give way each month to the sounds of the finest bluegrass music on the planet. Regardless of the temperature outside, visitors can always expect the Volcano Room to be a constant 56 degrees.
“Bluegrass Underground is a bucket list show for me,” Nolan said with excitement in his voice. “From the first time I learned about it, I was in love! I said to myself, I have to do that,” he continued. But there’s even more to add to this memorable appearance. “We also get to share the stage with John Cowan; one of the most recognized vocalists out there,” he said. “Can you imagine the two of us singing together? That would be unforgettable.”
On the wake of a new album release, Can You Hear Me?, on Compass Records last year, and recently becoming exclusively represented by KCA Artists, The Hillbenders are looking forward to their approaching Half Moon Harvest Tour, which includes many highlights for the guys as they will share the stage with legends and create memories that will last a lifetime. It also presents another opportunity for them to share their high energy, bluegrass-rock fusion music with friends and fans near and far.
“For the past few months, the band has been focusing on business and writing new material,” Nolan said. With a renewed understanding of themselves, their relationship, music, and direction, The Hillbenders continue to step up their game and hone their craft to create a memorable experience at every show. “We hope that by the time our set is done, the fans are as sweaty as we are, cuz they can’t stop dancing,” he said. There will also be new songs being played for those already familiar with the bands catalogue. “You can expect new, exciting tunes to make our set lists throughout the tour,” Nolan concluded.
Drawn together by a mutual desire to write and perform original music, the dynamic quintet, Nolan Lawrence on mandolin, Jimmy Rea on acoustic guitar, Chad Graves on dobro, Mark Cassidy on banjo, and Gary Rea on upright bass, combines the traditions of bluegrass with their own diverse influences, creating a unique and captivating sound, unlike any you’ve heard before. All five members share lead vocals, often incorporating 3 and 4-part harmonies. With tight arrangements, soul-reaching solos, and intricate instrumental parts, The Hillbenders always leave their crowds wanting more.
Learn more about The Hillbenders at www.hillbenders.com.
2013 Half Moon Harvest Tour Dates
08/21 Wray, CO 4th & Main Grille
08/22 Carbondale, CO Steve’s Guitars
08/23 Ogden, UT Ogden Roots & Blues Festival
08/24 Cheyenne, WY Ruts Fest
09/01 Yosemite, CA Strawberry Fall Music Festival
09/05 Tulsa, OK Mercury Lounge
09/06 Springfield, MO 16th Annual Ozarks Celebration Festival “Concert Under The Stars”
09/07 Springfield, MO Mother’s Brewery Octoberfest
09/21 Thompson, IL Melon Days Fall Festival
09/27 St. Louis, MO St. Louis Folk & Roots Festival
09/28 Tahlequah, OK RiverStomp Music Festival
10/23 Eureka Springs, AR Barefoot Ball at Basin Park Hotel
10/25 Springfield, MO Patton Alley Pub
11/13 Nashville, TN Music City Roots at The Loveless Café
11/16 McMinnville, TN Bluegrass Underground at Cumberland Caverns