Beacon Hillbillies, The


  • From Boston, Massachusetts.
  • A string band formed in 1994 by mandolinist Jim (Jimmy) Ryan. Also in the band: John McGann (winner of the 1985 Winfield mandolin championship) and Jim Whitney (bass.)
  • The “original” Beacon Hillbillies formed in 1896 in Duffield, West Virginia. Ryan’s grandfather was leader of that band.
  • Ryan was also in a band called Blood Oranges, a fusion of bluegrass and rock. He is also a solo artist, with several albums to his credit.
  • Disbanded in 1996. They recorded three albums.
  • 2012, McGann died of kidney failure. He was a faculty member at the Berklee College of Music.