Billy Strings kicked off his third annual, sold-out Renewal Festival in Buena Vista, CO on Friday with some help from Vince Herman and Drew Emmitt of Leftover Salmon (who recently played at his wedding).

Following an afternoon performance by ShadowGrass, Herman and Emmitt opened the festival’s main stage with a duo set during which they welcomed Strings to form a temporary trio. The pair then returned the favor during Strings’ second of two headlining sets, sitting in on Leftover Salmon’s “Down In The Hollow”.

Vince Herman & Drew Emmitt With Billy Strings – “Breakin’ Thru” – 9/22/23

[Video: Steam Powered Aerodyne]

Strings’ performance also included covers of Béla Fleck‘s “Tentacle Dragon”, Bob Dylan‘s “Drifter’s Escape”, and Larry Sparks‘ “I’ve Just Seen the Rock of Ages”, before which he told the crowd that his mom Deb said of all the many great artists she has seen over the years Larry Sparks was the one who impressed her the most. Strings also welcomed East Nash Grass’s Cory Walker (banjo) and Gaven Largent (dobro) to sit in on “Old Swinging Bridge” by Glen Neaves and The Grayson County Boys.

Check out photos and videos from the first day of Billy Strings’ Renewal Festival below, and scroll down to view his full setlist. The festivities continue today, Saturday, September 23rd with performances by ShadowGrass, East Nash Grass, Della Mae, and two more sets of Billy Strings, plus a late-night Renewal Revue hosted by Della Mae.

Billy Strings – “Pyramid Country” > “Ole Slew-Foot” (Johnny Horton) – 9/22/23

Billy Strings Renewal Festival Day 1 Recap Video

Billy Strings – “I Have Seen The Rock Of Ages” (Larry Sparks And The Lonesome Ramblers) – 9/22/23

[Video: Steam Powered Aerodyne]

Setlist [via BillyBase]: Billy Strings | Renewal Festival | Cottonwood Meadows | Buena Vista, CO | 9/22/23

Set 1: Pyramid Country > Ole Slew-Foot (Johnny Horton), Heartbeat of America, In the Morning Light, Know It All, All of Tomorrow, Highway Hypnosis, With a Vamp in the Middle (John Hartford) > Tentacle Dragon (Béla Fleck), I Only Exist (The Stanley Brothers), Tinfoil & Turmoil

Set 2: Long Forgotten Dream, While I’m Waiting Here, The Fire on My Tongue > Must Be Seven, Psycho (Eddie Noack), Down in the Hollow [1][2] (Leftover Salmon), I’ll Be Gone a Long Time, I’ve Just Seen the Rock of Ages [3] (Larry Sparks and the Lonesome Ramblers), West Dakota Rose [4] (Chris Henry), Old Swinging Bridge [4][5][6], Show Me the Door > Drifter’s Escape (Bob Dylan), My Love Comes Rolling Down (The Doc Watson Family) > Hide and Seek

1. With Leftover Salmon’s Vince Herman on guitar and Drew Emmitt on mandolin
2. Drew Emmitt on lead vocals
3. Billy told the crowd about his parents love of music and how his Mom Deb had seen many great artists in her life but out of all of them Larry Sparks was the one who impressed her the most.
4. With East Nash Grass’s Cory Walker on banjo and Gaven Largent on dobro
5. Gaven Largent on lead vocals
6. FTP – Glen Neaves and The Grayson County Boys