This is one of the most wonderful surprises: a new release of bluegrass gospel music by a band of young Dominican brothers calling themselves the Hillbilly Thomists. As they explain on their website:

In 1955, the southern author Flannery O’Connor said of herself, “Everybody who has read Wise Blood thinks I’m a hillbilly nihilist, whereas. . .I’m a hillbilly Thomist.” She said that her fiction was concerned with the ways grace is at work among people who do not have access to the sacraments. The Thomist (one who follows the thought of St. Thomas Aquinas) believes that the invisible grace of God can be at work in visible things, just as the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, in the person of Christ.

Here’s a link to a live performance. These men are for real. Theologian Chad Pecknold writes about the album here.

Order the album on iTunes or otherwise here. Man, this is great stuff. That Dominican House of Studies in Washington is such a bastion of joyful, creative Catholic orthodoxy — and a blessing to all of us.