Chad Graves and The Hillbenders

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Fox's picture

Well, hate to admit it but I had never heard Chad Graves play no less the Hillbenders, but yesterday at IBMA my head came up out of the sand and I was exposed to The Hillbenders!!!  First of all Chad is about as cool as they get but for those of you like I was GO SEE HIM somewhere and see if your not blown away with his playing!!! As clean and fast of a picker as they come and always moving from one side of stage to the other. Puts a new meaning in the word "Stage Presence"!!! The entire group are awesome singers and players alike!!!  After first song I noticed my wife on her I phone on Hillbenders website and found out they were none the less the winners of Teleuride a couple years ago and deserving as well. Chad puts a new meaning in the word chops and I dont mean his lambchops which are cool too.  Absolute booming chops and when he takes his lead be ready cause its mean and bad to the bone.  YUP I am a Hillbender fan for sure.  After their show I talked to Chad and specifically made note that he must have a thumb pick surgecially(sp) implanted on his thumb cause aint no way a pick would stay on naturally.  No he said just stays put!!  We talked, infact the whole band was just as cordial as well, about their background and even had a nice visit with the mandos folks!!  Oh yeah the first thing was I bought their new CD titled   Can You Hear Me?  which we listened to all the way from Nashville to South Alabama today.  Every song awesome!!!  So for those of you that havent heard or seen The Hillbenders you owe it to your self to check them out.  Just a warning if you are straight traditional bluegrass you might want to take a book to read cause these guys are heavy bluegrassy!!!!  Thanks again Chad and the entire band!!!!Cool


Dave Thier's picture

Chad is an excellent picker and great guy!  I'm also enjoying the Hillbenders new CD.

Sorry I missed you at IBMA Dave, I only made it up there Thursday.

Fox's picture

You bet Dave. Would enjoyed meeting u and I wished I could have made the party!!  I spoke to Betty just briefly!!  

Jan Newsom's picture

I miss seeing Chad every year at MerleFest!  He is a super nice guy and the band is spectacular.  I need to pick up the new CD.  If you are interested there are videos posted of a western swing group Chad plays with called Sugar Thumb, also videos when Chad was with Valerie Smith.  Hope to see The Hillbenders at MF soon too!


Keep on pickin'


Drewboy's picture

Love to watch "Gravy Boat" play. He always looks to be having tons of fun up there. And a master of weaving in and out of those single mic breaks.

Arrowsmit's picture

Yepper the Hillbenders are fantastic & Chad Graves is AWESOME!! Something about his stage presence reminds me of Rick Nielsen of Cheap Trick. Cool  



Fox's picture

Exactly Vic. My exact thoughts!  I even told the mando/lead singer that he has that (Steve Perry) voice for sure!!  I will have to travel to see them again since down here we are lean and mean on music acts!!! Really a treat to see Lawrence Welk reruns!!! Lol

Bob Richards's picture

If you missed seeing and hearing Chad play with Valerie Smith/Liberty Pike, a few years back, you missed a great experience. Chad is a lot of fun , great Reso player and showman, with a fantastic stage presence.  The whole Liberty Pike group at that time put on the best shows we have seen.

Do a YouTube search, lots of Chad and Liberty Pike there.

We need to catch a Hillbenders show!

Fox's picture

Oh yeah Bob!   Just looked up Chad on UTUBE and what was the first tune but my favorite "Rueben"!!!  Thanks man!!

I and some guys I pick with saw the Hillbenders in Charlotte, NC Wednesday night and they are fantastic!  Man, it was one of the best shows I have EVER seen.  Excellent musicians and a great group of guys that are just as gracious as they are talented.  If they are in your area, you should definitely go see them.  I hope they come back soon.  Their cd's are mostly all original songs and they are outstanding!

Chad Graves's picture

Thank you to everyone for the compliments! 


Chad "Gravy Boat" Graves

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