“Forty years and counting…” serves as an exclamation mark on a bluegrass journey begun in 1979, with five young musicians searching for an avenue for their individual gifts, finding each other somewhat serendipitously and kindling a spirit that has brought them through four decades.
Hickory Hill celebrates this milestone with all four surviving original members back together, alongside two long admired friends. This is the first project that includes all four of these original members together since 2000. John Early and Bob Stegall have kept the group together since its beginning. Don Eaves and Ronny Singley returned to performing with the band in 2016, joining John and Bob and widely respected Dallas, Texas multi-instrumentalist Milo Deering. By the middle of the year, they had recruited another long time friend, Richard Bowden, to add in some of his original Bowden B-Bender guitar licks and some of his well known sense of humor going back to even beyond his days touring the country with songwriter Sandy Pinkard as Pinkard and Bowden. The elevated sense of fun will serve to remind early followers of the band’s much loved missing original member, the late Rolan Foster, who had a real penchant for making people smile.
“Forty years and counting…” is Hickory Hill’s eleventh album. It encompasses some older Hickory Hill favorites performed the way they do them now, alongside some arrangements of others that many will recognize, written by friends and other admired writers. Then you’ll hear a couple new ones that will not disappoint.
For those who have not found the group before, Hickory Hill is a bluegrass band that can easily play straight bluegrass songs but often chooses to bring music from other genres to bluegrass. Take a comfortable listen to Hickory Hill at forty, “Forty years and counting”. Now playing on the radio, the first single released and the first track from the project, a very special song written by Mason Dixon’s Frank Martin Gilligan, “Silver Dollar”.