On Sunday, guitarists Marcus King and William Apostol (Billy Strings) revived their “Kings & Strings” collaboration to help close out the final day of the 11th annual Rooster Walk Music & Arts Festival in Martinsville, VA.

Last year’s first-ever running of King & Strings in 2018 blew expectations out of the water, particularly considering the two young guitarists met for the very first time just hours before their set. As King told Live For Live Music about the 2018 King & Strings set ahead of last night’s performance, “I knew that Billy and his crew were just easy-going folks, just like us, but when we got there and started practicing in that little room at the hotel, we all knew right away. We kind of threw the playbook right off the stage and went by the seat of our pants and had the perfect cats to do it with.”

This year, the two entered their collaborative set as good friends and touring peers. “(Rooster Walk) planted the seed,” Apostol explained. “It brought us together for the first time ever, and man, it was wild. Last year, I met the dude; in six hours, we’re standing on stage rocking it, and how’s that for a first time meeting somebody? It’s just like, I don’t know, a really special thing that happened. But yeah, we have become friends, and man, I really like Marcus. He’s a great dude, and a great player. What an inspiring guy.”

“We’re almost kind of kindred spirits,” Apostol continued. “It’s weird. We’re both young dudes that play guitar, and our bands are doing okay, and we’re just on the road all the time… He’s just such a cool dude, and I’m really glad we became friends.” (Read our full King & Strings interview here).

The duo and their backing musicians took to the event’s Bassett Lawn Stage on Sunday for their 10 p.m. set. The set certainly helped ease fans into the later part of the evening after experiencing a wave of heavy rainfall a few hours prior during The Marcus King Band‘s performance. The collaborative performance on Sunday also came a few days after Strings welcomed his guitar-playing colleague during his late-night set at this year’s DelFest on Thursday.

Thankfully, you can now listen to a full audience recording of Sunday’s King & Strings set thanks to TaperJeff (Jeff Prater) [Note: Tracks are labeled out of order. For the correctly-ordered setlist, see below]:

King & Strings – 5/26/19 – Rooster Walk 11 – Full Audio

[Taped by TaperJeff]

Watch a handful of videos from last night’s “Kings & Strings” set below, in addition to a behind-the-scenes clip of the two rehearsing backstage prior to the set.

View this post on Instagram

Getting ready for @roosterwalk tonight with #marcuskingband and #billystrings #kingandstrings #pedalsteelguitar

A post shared by Dean Mitchell (@deanmitchellsteelguitar) on


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Corey Fitzgerald (@cfitz19) on


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Evalynn Ray Barbare (@evvalynn) on

Strings will head west to Salt Lake City, UT for the next stop on his 2019 spring tour, where he’s scheduled to perform at the Red Butte Garden on Friday as the support for Béla Fleck & The Flecktones. For Billy Strings tickets and tour info, head here.

King’s next performance will also take place this Friday with his scheduled appearance at Michael Arnone’s 30th Annual Crawfish Fest at the Sussex County Fairgrounds in Augusta, NJ. Head to King’s website for tickets and tour info.

Setlist: King & Strings | Rooster Walk 11 | Martinsville, NY | 5/26/19

Set: Intro, Summertime, He Stopped Loving Her Today, Guitar In My Hands, Steel Guitar Rag, Wanted Man, Cheap Tequila > Down by the river > Breathe > Down by the River, Swinging Doors, Friend of the Devil, Funky Bitch(1)> That’s What Love Will Make You Do(1), Spanish Moon(1)> Hot Damn Jam(1) > Iko Iko(1) > Paranoid (1), Compared to What(1)(2)

1 Royal Horn Section (Marcus King Band horns)
2 Chalkdust Torture (Phish) tease

Full set with Jeff Sipe on drums, except track one