Feller and Hill & the Bluegrass Buckaroos

What do you get when you mix traditional bluegrass with “real country?” I don’t know either, but it probably sounds a lot like Feller and Hill.

Both Tom Feller and Chris Hill will be familiar faces to bluegrass audiences, Tom from his time with Larry Stephenson, Rhonda Vincent and 3 Fox Drive, and Chris from working with Wildwood Valley Boys, Gerald Evans, James King, and Karl Shifflett. Both are serious professionals, talented pickers and first-rate singers, determined to launch their new career as a duo in 2012.

Tom shared a few words about what they have in store, along with a sample track of their music. No surprise how they came up with the band name.

“The fans can expect to see a very entertaining stage show that features vintage harmonies and traditional arrangements….kinda that era when bluegrass and early country sounded very similar. Country stars like Ray Price and Buck Owens had harmony arrangements in their songs, which sounded very bluegrass to us. Chris and I are peas in a pod when it comes to that type of music.

I was surprised that the more we played together, the more we found we love so many of the same artists.”

Together Again: [http://traffic.libsyn.com/thegrasscast/together_again.mp3]

The new duo aren’t prepared to announce the members of their band just yet, but are accepting dates starting in June of 2012. Feller says that it will be a whiz-bang show.

“I’m normally the quiet one off stage and Chris is always very outspoken and sometimes zany. On stage I come out of my shell and join in with Chris’ antics. We believe the audience deserves to be entertained, rather than just watching statues going through the motions to create music. The music has to be good, but there’s so much more that goes along with that.

We are very excited to get out and play some shows and see how audiences react to our style and presentation of a classic sound that represents an era when bluegrass and country were one big family.”

A 4 song demo recording is available now to bluegrass radio via Airplay Direct, which can be purchased on Facebook.

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About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.

  • Sounds good to me! Bluegrass versions of one of the greatest eras in country music? Sign me up! Looking forward to this, and wishing them great success.

  • Lynwood Lunsford

    I wish them luck too! And nobody loves the style of music they plan to do, more than I! HOWEVER, I don’t know of too many successful “cover bands” in Bluegrass or Country. Sure, many people have made a living being an Elvis impersonator, but SO FAR, it hasn’t worked in Bluegrass or Country. I see their challenge as creating a recognizable sound, within an established style, yet not sound like an imitator. It’s a difficult task, but I believe it can be done! And IMO, it all starts with a song! If these guys can find songs that embrace the classic style they hope to follow, yet are modern-day relevent, I think they will be a hit! Their sound is both refreshing, and familiar to my ears! Good luck guys, count me as your fan!!

  • Tom Feller

    Lynwood, thanks for the confidence in us and the insight on material. I have followed your posts for quite some time and always appreciated your honesty. I am with you on this one. We are not out to imitate anyone. Some of the material we have recorded as a demo was done as an experimentation of how our vocals would contrast each other. We chose songs from our favorite artists’ that we were both familiar with to see what potential, vocally, we had together. The recording process has been very educational, in many aspects. We are quickly finding that obtaining songs from reputable songwriters is no easy task when you’ve been a sideman all your life. It makes sense why it has to be this way, but it makes it much more difficult for us. Luckily, I was born into a family of wonderful songwriters, including Aubrey Holt, and his sister Judy, (my mother). I have also written more than a dozen country songs over the past 20 years. We currently have about a dozen original songs we are in the process of arranging to record. Chris and I both fully understand the need for original material and that true success lies in our ability to create, record, and market it. We definitely have a few surprises up our sleeves for the coming year (and debut album) that I believe will get the bluegrass community’s attention. Thank you so much, and stay tuned!

    • Lynwood Lunsford

      That sounds awesome Tom and I certainly will be watching with much anticipation!

  • Cliff Abbott

    Two very talented individuals with great voices! I expect some great performances (and some Faron Young hairstyles!)

    • Tom Feller

      Thanks for your kindness, Cliff. You can expect at least one Faron Young song….and hairstyle….when you get a chance to see our show. Chris can pull it off, but I’m not sure I have enough hair left to do it.

  • you guys need to get some Nudie suits!

    • Tom Feller

      Trust me, Daniel…if we could afford them, we would get em. We need to get ahold of Marty Stuart. He has all the remaining ones, I believe.

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  • Ray

    I just saw Chris Hill play with at Layla’s in Nashville this evening. He has without a doubt one of the best bluegrass voices I have ever heard. His high lonesome sound is chilling.