What fun it is to see musicians using their God-given talents with such joy and vigor. Here we have the Hillbilly Thomists, before they were Hillbillies or Thomists, performing “Whiskey in the Jar.”
The timeless Irish bar song is sung by the whole group while accompanied on guitar, mandolin, and Bodhrán (pronounced Boh-rawn). The singers give the song a great treatment, even going so far as to add some harmonies. All the performers are having a ball and even add in the customary shouts during the chorus.
This recording comes from 2014, during a celebration following a diaconate ordination. That day, there were eight new deacons ordained, which bolstered the Dominican House of Studies ranks up to 16 transitional deacons. The timeline makes the video all the more thrilling, as the Hillbilly Thomists did not come together to officially form the band until their 2017 debut self-titled album.
Watching through, it almost feels like the Hillbilly Thomists were realized that very night. Throughout the performance you can see the robe-clad singers looking around as though they’re noticing how good they are. In just three short years, the Hillbilly Thomists would go from playing small parties to dropping jaws at festivals.
The Hillbilly Thomists have had a long road to success, but their talent has always been there. Take a look at the video below to hear the difference between 2014 and 2021. All it took was a little polish to turn that 2014 bar-song-singing band into masters of the bluegrass style.