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The Hillbilly Thomists play the Grand Ole Opry


Stew Milne - The Hillbilly Thomists - Provided

J-P Mauro - published on 08/09/22

The band of Dominicans of the Order of Preachers reached a major milestone when they took to the legendary country music stage.

The Hillbilly Thomists have reached a new milestone after taking the stage at the highest profile venue in country music, the Grand Ole Opry. The band of Dominicans played a set to kick off the Knights of Columbus’ annual convention, which took place in the historic Nashville theater. 

The Hillbilly Thomists recently released their third studio album, Holy Ghost Power, which quickly found itself at #5 on Billboard’s Bluegrass chart. To promote the album, and give fans a chance to hear them live, they took to the road on what they call “The Old Highway Tour.” The tour brought the band through several U.S. cities, including Washington, D.C., Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, and Chicago. 

The clip is from one of their latest songs, “The Power and the Glory,” a fun little tune that adds a dash of humor with the way the singer’s voice cracks on the chorus. Here’s the full track: 

Grand Ole Opry

In an interview with CNS, Hillbilly Thomist Father Peter Gautsch explained that the band didn’t even know that the Grand Ole Opry awaited them when they accepted the gig from the KofC: 

“They said, ‘By the way, it’s going to be at the Grand Ole Opry’ and our jaws all dropped. The exciting thing about it for me, aside from just being on that stage and playing, is this is my home, this is where I grew up, so to be able to have friends and family come join in that was amazing.” The Dominican added, “It was really neat to be able to bring that to that stage and share the music and the faith with so many people.” 

The crowd seemed to agree with Fr. Gautsch, as they gave the Hillbilly Thomists a standing ovation as they left the stage. 

Nuns applaud

Unfortunately, the Knights have yet to release a full recording of the event, but from the clips circulating Twitter, featured above, it looked like a fun time. The evening was made all the more delightful by the presence of the Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia, who can be seen laughing and clapping along to the music. 

Speaking to CNA, Sister Anne Catherine Burleigh who was at the Grand Ole Opry for the show, said of the Hillbilly Thomists: 

“We know a lot of our brothers and they’re wonderful priests, and it’s fun to see them bring out their study of theology in this very fun way,” she said.

Follow the Hillbilly Thomists on their website to stay up to date with all their tours and releases.

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