Billy Strings‘ musical family took on a new member on Sunday in Baltimore, MD when the group added fiddler Alex Hargreaves to the permanent lineup. The newly-minted quintet finished out a two-night stand at Pier Six Pavilion before its faithful leader also made a surprise appearance with Kitchen Dwellers at the nearby The 8×10.

Strings, Billy Failing (banjo), Royal Masat (bass), Jarrod Walker (mandolin), and Hargreaves (who was still a special guest at this point) dove straight in with a show-opening “Meet Me At The Creek”. First set highlights included a grouping of “Taking Water” and “Thirst Mutilator”, as well as a standalone “Heartbeat Of America” which is poised to become even more commonplace with a full-time fiddler on the payroll.

A quartet of covers made up set one’s midsection, with Albert E. Brumley‘s “Rank Stranger”, Ebo Walker‘s “Whisper My Name”, Roger Bowling and Jody Emerson‘s “Dig A Little Deeper In The Well”, and John Hartford‘s “Today”. Sunday’s show marked the first “Dig A Little Deeper” since 4/4/20, when Billy performed the song solo from his Nashville, TN home as part of the Live From Out There streaming series, per Phantasy Tour. The group last performed the song before a live audience on 2/28/20 in Traverse City, MI. They then rounded out the first frame with “Wargasm”.

Related: Billy Strings Hosts Trey Anastasio For An Extensive Sit-In During His Bluegrass Shindig On Pier 17 Rooftop [Photos/Videos/Audio]

Set two began with a grouping of “Know It All” and “Ole Slewfoot” followed by a take on George Jones‘ “Life To Go”. The band carried on through “Away From The Mire” and “Long Forgotten Dream” before Strings led Failing, Masat, and Walker down onto on one knee to ask Hargreaves to join the band.

“Alex, your tone, timing, intonation, your double stops, that smile. I love everything about your fiddle playing, Alex,” Strings said over the microphone. “Will you take us to be your lawfully-wedded band?” (He said he does.)

The quintet then offered a timely rendition of Cy Coben‘s “A Good Woman’s Love” before truly welcoming Hargreaves to the tribe with a mammoth, 23-minute “Turmoil & Tinfoil”. What amounted to an eight-song second set then wrapped with Doyle Neikirk and Jimmy Martin‘s “Tennessee” to close out the encore-less performance.

Billy Strings still wasn’t finished with his evening, however, as he along with hundreds of others rushed over to The 8×10 for a Kitchen Dwellers after show. The guest of honor emerged halfway through the single-set performance and lent his frenetic fingers to Béla Fleck‘s “Whitewater”. Strings also helped the Bozeman boys tackle Bob Dylan‘s “Tombstone Blues” before delivering his final blow on Bill Monroe‘s “Big Mon”, a favorite of Billy’s own shows.

Check out fan-shot videos from Billy Strings and Kitchen Dwellers in Baltimore on Sunday. Full-show audio of Billy Strings is available thanks to taper SnookyFlowers.

Billy Strings – Pier Six Pavilion – Baltimore, MD – 7/3/22

Billy Strings – “Meet Me At The Creek” – 7/3/22

[Video: Borrowed Tune]

Billy Strings – “Whisper My Name” (Ebo Walker) – 7/3/22

[Video: Borrowed Tune]

Billy Strings – “Today” (John Hartford) – 7/3/22

[Video: Borrowed Tune]

Billy Strings – “Life To Go” (George Jones) – 7/3/22

[Video: Borrowed Tune]

Billy Strings – “Away From The Mire” – 7/3/22

[Video: Borrowed Tune]

Billy Strings Asks Alex Hargreaves To Join The Band, “Good Woman’s Love” (Cy Coben) – 7/3/22

[Video: ricgrass]

Billy Strings – “Turmoil & Tinfoil” – 7/3/22

[Video: HeartStrings]

Kitchen Dwellers, Billy Strings – “Whitewater” (Béla Fleck) – 7/3/22

[Video: Vlad Reznik]

Kitchen Dwellers, Billy Strings – “Tombstone Blues” (Bob Dylan) – 7/3/22

Kitchen Dwellers, Billy Strings – “Big Mon” (Bill Monroe) – 7/3/22

View Videos

Setlist [via BillyBase]: Billy Strings | Pier Six Pavilion | Baltimore, MD | 7/3/22

Set One: Meet Me At The Creek, Secrets, Taking Water > Thirst Mutilator, Love & Regret, Heartbeat Of America, Rank Stranger (Albert E. Brumley), Whisper My Name (Ebo Walker), Dig A Little Deeper In The Well (Roger Bowling, Jody Emerson), Today (John Hartford), Wargasm

Set Two: Know It All > Ole Slewfoot (Traditional), Life To Go (George Jones), Away From The Mire, Long Forgotten Dream, A Good Woman’s Love (Cy Coben) [1], Turmoil & Tinfoil [2], Tennessee (Doyle Neikirk, Jimmy Martin)

[1] Before song started band gets down on their knees to ask Alex Hargreaves to join the band.
[2] Inspector Gadget jam

Setlist: Kitchen Dwellers | The 8×10 | Baltimore, MD | 7/3/22

Set: Ghost In The Bottle > Cuckoo’s Nest, Drowning (… Again), The Crown > Woods Lake > The Crown, Stand At Ease > Whitewater [1], Tombstone Blues [1], Big Mon [1], Foundation > Welcome to The Machine > Foundation, Timebomb

Encore: Breed

[1] w/ Billy Strings