The Hillbilly Thomists are a group of Dominican friars who have come together to form a bluegrass/folk band. The cast of band members is always changing, but their music has appeared on bluegrass billboard charts.
Meet the Hillbilly Thomists: Dominican Friars. The Hillbilly Thomists are a bluegrass/folk band. They’re headed to a gig at the Appaloosa Music Festival. Their music has appeared on bluegrass Billboard charts.
All [singing]: ‘‘’Tis the song, the sigh of the weary / Hard times, hard times, come again no more / Many days you have lingered around my cabin door / Oh hard times come again no more”
Brother Justin: We play a lot of music and we sing a lot as Dominicans. So for our daily prayers — we sing them, we chant them. For Mass, we do a lot of singing again. And so this is another genre of music, folk and bluegrass and gospel. We love playing music.
Front Royal, Virginia
Emcee: From the Dominican House of Studies in Washington, DC, ladies and gentlemen, The Hillbilly Thomists.
Brother Simon: Appaloosa is just a really great festival. It’s a lot of fun. It’s great how many families come. It’s kind of unique because it’s such a family-friendly environment.
Brother Justin: So Brother Joseph is an expert spoon player. Again, you’re not going to hear many spoon soloists here at Appaloosa. But you do here.
The cast of playing friars is rotating. So it’s natural for someone to play for a bit, and then they’ll get assigned somewhere, and then new brothers who come into formation hopefully will pick up the banjo and mandolin and continue the tradition.
Three brothers joke and laugh over a silly song in the backseat of a car.