The Mystery Hillbillies are a rockin' band based in the western piedmont of North Carolina. They play a range of music from the early 40's to the present. Styles include Classic country,western swing, rockabilly and blues- think Patsy Cline, Bob Wills, Hank Williams, Dwight Yokum, Brenda Lee, Chuck Berry, Buddy Holly and Elvis. Whether you're a two-stepper, jitterbugger, lindy hopper, shagger or a plain old leg shaker, you'll be up on the dance floor when the Mystery Hillbillies get to rockin'. They tailor their sets to the audience and venue, bringing a great entertaining experience to folks of all ages and persuasions. They play most often as a trio, but drums can be added for a bigger sound. Their range of gigs includes swing dances, clubs, restaurants, street fairs, festivals, parties and the occasional wedding. They will make any event more fun.
"Michelle, I love to come hear you play because I can pretend I'm you and it makes me feel sassy" -Tami Reichert
"I think of the word "bad-ass" when I think of you. Confident, talented, cool, humorous, skilled ...bad-ass!" -Anastasia Maddox -vocalist, uke, harmonica and kazoo player with the Bull Town Strutters and Skeedadle Band
"The first time I heard the Mystery Hillbillies was at Fishers Grille in Greensboro. If you’ve ever been to Fishers, you know that a packed house gets pretty loud in there. In the middle of a conversation, I heard this booming voice that stopped me in mid-sentence. I had to peek over the booth to see who this was – and there was Michelle – this huge smile on her face as she started belting out “Daddy Was a Preacher.” My first reaction was, how the heck does such a powerful sound come out of such a petite gal? But you know the old saying, “Don’t judge a book…?” Well, it’s true. She packs a punch, and so does the rest of the band.
There are lots of groups in the area that play good music, but they don’t really bring you into the performance -- don't make a connection. Watching this band, I felt as if I had gone back in time to the days of watching the “Porter Wagoner Show” with my Pa-Paw on the weekends. Their music is authentic – a fun little trip down memory lane. It’s comforting. And it makes you want to get up, pull off your shoes, and do a little dancin’ (even though shoeless is probably not a good idea in a bar).
I’ve seen the Mystery Hillbillies play at Prissy Polly’s in Kernersville, and the crowd loved them. It takes a certain kind of presence to keep customers in their seats after they’ve finished dinner, and this group can do it. Couples were slow-dancing to Patsy Cline songs, shouting out requests, and the band kept delivering. This older gentleman slowly made his way to the front row and took a seat to listen. By the end of the show, he was clapping and stomping his feet with a huge smile on his face. Now THAT’S what music is all about, isn’t it? Go see them. They’re musical medicine for the soul."
"The Mystery Hillbillies opened the show with a barn burning set of tightly focused, three-piece high-lighted by Michelle Belanger’s lived-in vocals. Hillbillies regular Calvin Johnson on the upright came the closest to Americana, easing the crowd into the evening connecting the mountain pickers to urban hot-rodders in a tactile way. The addition of a drummer and electric guitar brought on the Memphis and allowed their set to bridge that gap from the Carter Family Fold in Virginia to Johnny’s electrified Nashville career. Belanger’s stage presence and singing are warm, like sitting on a porch and listening to her croon over a chorus of crickets." Chad Nance, Camel City Dispatch