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Sunday, May 12, 2013

A Very Special Billy Hill Performance

Over the years, I've probably seen Billy Hill and the Hillbillies perform maybe 2 dozen times on the stage of Frontierland's Golden Horseshoe Saloon. It's one of my favorite things to do at Disneyland and as one website called Billy Hill, one of Disneyland's real gems. (Note: I haven't seen them perform on the outdoor stage at Big Thunder Ranch which they do now during busy seasons).

Anyway, Billy Hill and the Hillbillies are highly skilled musicians that mostly play for fun, laughs, and wonderful entertainment. As with any performing band, much of their material, both in songs and comedy routines, remains the same from performance to performance relying a lot on interaction with their audience to keep things fresh and lively (and funny). But once in a while, Billy changes things up and one of the 4 Billy's is allowed to really show what they can do.

It should be noted that while there are 4 Billy's on stage, there are about 9 Billy's performing in teams (green team, blue team, gold team) to accommodate days off, vacations, and such. The 3 Billy's that are most frequently performing are the groups founding members Kirk Wall (front man/MC, guitar, fiddle, fake buck teeth, and fiddle bow up the nose), Dennis Fetchet (fiddle, Orange Blossom Special, and that Train Thing), and John Marshall (stand up bass).

Billy's - Kirk Wall and John David
On our last trip, on a day Kirk Wall wasn't fronting a Billy Hill and Hillbillies, an opportunity to solo was turned over to guitarist John David. Below is his great rendition of Mason Williams guitar classic appropriately named Classical Gas. Apparently he does perform the song in Billy sets every so often but it was the first time I had seen it and was blown away by his picking skills.

If you haven't been to Disneyland, make sure to make time to see Billy Hill and the Hillbillies perform. If you go to Disneyland regularly and haven't seen Billy, skip a ride and go see them do their thing. Each performance is about 25 minutes and a whole lot of fun.

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