Billy Strings headed to the grounds of Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival in Manchester, TN on Friday night for a socially distant performance as part of Bonnaroo’s Concerts on the Farm series.

In addition to the usual quartet of Strings on guitar Jarrod Walker on mandolin, Royal Massat on upright bass, and Billy Failing on banjo, the Bonnaroo Farm performance featured fiddle player John Mailander (Bruce Hornsby), who has appeared with Billy Strings at various notable performances including New Year’s Eve 2019 and the group’s crowdless show at Ryman Auditorium in October 2020.

Whether or not his face is familiar, Strings’ fans can hear his contributions to the bluegrass phenom’s Grammy-winning 2019 album, Home. Mailander also heads his own outfit, John Mailander’s Forecast, which released its third album, Look Closer, earlier this month.

Related: Billy Strings Steps To The Plate For Three-Night Louisville Series [Photos/Videos/Full-Show Audio]

The setlist featured the always-shifting mix of bluegrass staples, original tunes new and old, and covers of songs by everyone from Jeff Austin to Widespread Panic to the Grateful Dead.

After opening the show with a weather-appropriate rendition of The Stanley Brothers‘ “Raining Here This Morning” and the band’s live debut of Chris Henry‘s “West Dakota Rose”, which the band had been rehearsing this week, the pink-haired bluegrass phenom greeted the crowd of “soggy-bottom boys and girls” with a heartfelt thank you for braving the weather and a mischievous call for “just a little bit of fun” and revelry before leading the band into “Know It All”. The “West Dakota Rose” theme would return later in the night, as a reprise of the tune closed out a two-song encore following a spirited rendition of “Dust In A Baggie”.

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The Bonnaroo concert marked the final appearance of Billy Strings’ spring tour. Now, Strings, Jarrod WalkerRoyal Massat, and Billy Failing will take a well-deserved rest before picking back up at Wintrust Field in Schaumburg, IL to kick off summer tour with a two-night run on June 11th and 12th. Head over to Strings’ website for tickets and a full list of tour dates.

Below, check out the setlist from the Bonnaroo Farm show as well as a selection of photos and videos from the event.

Billy Strings w/ John Mailander – “Raining Here This Morning” (The Stanley Brothers) – 5/28/20

[Video: Music City Maven]

Billy Strings w/ John Mailander – “Cassidy” (Grateful Dead) – 5/28/20

[Video: Music City Maven]

Billy Strings w/ John Mailander – “All Time Low” (Widespread Panic) > “Ice Bridges” – 5/28/20

[Video: Music City Maven]

Billy Strings w/ John Mailander – “West Dakota Rose” (Reprise, Chris Henry & The Hardcore Grass) – 5/28/20

[Video: Music City Maven]


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