Bluegrass star Billy Strings took the stage at the famed Ryman Auditorium in Nashville on Saturday to deliver a special performance. The two-hour, one-set concert saw the picking prodigy keep things classic at the “Mother Church of Country Music” with a traditional-leaning set.
The crowdless performance was livestreamed in the latest virtual event from 28-year-old rising star, born William Apostol. Last month, Strings went live from an empty Red Rocks Amphitheatre for a marathon, three-set show.
In addition to the change in format, the Ryman concert also saw Strings welcome fiddle player John Mailander to the stage for the concert. The show got off to a hot start with “Bronzeback” which segued into “Must Be Seven”. Fans that didn’t purchase the stream lucked out with this opening song pairing, as they received two songs for the price of none with the free preview on Strings’ Facebook page.
After that, Billy and his eponymous band dug into the Jerry Reed catalog with “The Likes Of Me”, followed by his own seminal fan-favorite, “Dust In A Baggie”. Things kept on moving with “While I’m Waiting Here”, and a one-two punch of The Dillards‘ “Ernest T. Grass” into “Ole Slew Foot”. Following a run through “John Deere Tractor” by Larry Sparks, Strings returned to his own songbook with “Hollow Heart” and “Turmoil & Tinfoil”.
With that came a nod to Dock Boggs with “Country Blues” which set off a long string of covers including “Wild Bill Jones”, “Give Me Back My Fifteen Cents”, “Beaumont Rag”, “Home of the Red Fox” and the traditional “Little Maggie”. The show-closing highlight, however, came when Strings strung together a take on “Crown of Thorns”—the Mother Love Bone tune kept alive by Jeff Ament and Stone Gossard‘s new band, Pearl Jam—with his own “Away From The Mire” to wrap up the 120-minute concert.
Watch a preview of Billy Strings’ livestream from the Ryman Auditorium on his Facebook page.
Setlist: Billy Strings | Ryman Auditorium | Nashville, TN | 10/25/20
Set: Bronzeback > Must Be Seven, The Likes of Me, Dust in a Baggie, While I’m Waiting Here, Ernest T. Grass > Ole Slew-Foot, John Deere Tractor, Hollow Heart, Turmoil & Tinfoil, Country Blues, Wild Bill Jones, Give Me Back My Fifteen Cents, Beaumont Rag, Home of the Red Fox > Little Maggie, Crown Of Thorns > Away From the Mire
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