The year of 2023 felt like a long one, not least of all because we had to go the whole time without a release from the Dominican brothers in bluegrass, the Hillbilly Thomists. Thankfully, however, we won’t have to wait too much longer for more of the high quality tones of Americana for which they’re well known, as the band just released a teaser video for an upcoming album.
The one-minute video teases the music and band in all the right ways, giving shots of the friars playing their instruments, recording in the “studio,” praying in the chapel, and even an inside glimpse at their musical workspace.
We loved getting such a behind-the-scenes look at their recording space, which looks as if it doubles as a living room. Along with some nice shots of the instruments, we get to see how the friars like to decorate their living space, which apparently includes a trophy deer head mounted with a sword in its antlers.
It was especially nice seeing a quick shot of the setlist for the fourth album, with titles like “Salvation Saturday,” “Stand in the Light,” “Cypress,” “Marigold,” and “Heavenly Land.” Each title has a box next to it and many of these boxes have check marks in them. There were however a few empty boxes, which could mean the songs were not finished recording yet. Another box next to the title “Buffalo” has been crossed out, which might mean this song was scrapped, while “Deer Eyes” has a question mark in it, leaving us stumped as to what exactly will be on the album.
Throughout the teaser Fr. Justin Bolger sings and plays one of their new songs. Driven largely by one expansive guitar chord, the song keeps the rhythm of a train while Fr. Bolger’s vocal line is full of a bluesy kind of yearning. Unfortunately, the sound we hear on the tease was taken by the behind-the-scenes crew, so it’s not quite the studio quality we’ll hear on the album. Due to this, we couldn’t make out all of Fr. Bolger’s lyrics, but the music has us excited for another album that’s brimming with soulful vocals, blue notes, and faithful lyrics to praise the holy name of Jesus Christ.
The video closes out with the announcement that the Hillbilly Thomists’ fourth studio album, yet to be named, will be released in 2024. Be sure to catch up on all the Hillbilly Thomists’ music on Spotify and Apple Music, as well as just about any service that streams music. Follow the Dominican Friars YouTube channel to hear more.