Bela Fleck, Larry Keel, Molly Tuttle & More Join Billy Strings In Nashville

By Nate Todd Dec 22, 2019 11:27 am PST

Billy Strings delivered his second all-star holiday benefit, “String The Halls Two,” at Nashville’s Marathon Music Works on Saturday night with proceeds going to Nashville Rescue Mission. Strings welcomed Béla Fleck, Larry Keel and Molly Tuttle as well as members of Umphrey’s McGee and Greensky Bluegrass among others.

Billy kicked off the first set with “Sled Ride” before welcoming singer-songwriter and his former roommate Molly Tuttle for Peter Rowan’s “Moonshiner” and Tuttle’s own “Friend And A Friend,” which appears on her 2017 debut LP Rise. After a couple of tunes with singer-songwriter Jenni Lyn including “Rollin’ In My Sweet Baby’s Arms,” Strings — joined by guitarist Larry Keel and fiddler Michael Cleveland — got back in the holiday spirit with “Christmas Time’s A Comin’.” Keel and Cleveland also stayed on for a cover of Bill Monroe’s “The Big Mon.”

Following a performance of “Beautiful Star Of Bethlehem” with singer-songwriter Lindsay Lou, Billy welcomed Bela Fleck and Abigail Washburn for their original “Take Me To Harlan” from the 2018 album Echo In The Valley. Then, Fleck stayed on and Umphrey’s McGee drummer Kris Myers hopped on the throne for “Sleigh Ride.” Myers would stay on for a rendition of the Billy Nershi-penned The String Cheese Incident classic “Black Clouds” with Bela adding more banjo. Strings then got back into some Christmas material with Doc Watson’s “Christmas Lullaby” before welcoming Cleveland back up as well as singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Sierra Hull for “Santa’s Train.” Next, Greensky Bluegrass guitarist Dave Bruzza sat in on John Hartford’s “Vamp In The Middle.” Strings returned to Bill Monroe with his “Footprint In The Snow” before closing out the first frame with the traditional “Sally Goodin” featuring Cleveland on fiddle.

With Myers behind the kit, Strings got the second set underway with “Jingle Bell Rock.” Myers stayed on for some blues and rock classics in Chuck Berry’s “Johnny B. Goode,” B.B. King’s “Everyday I Have The Blues” and The Allman Brothers’ “In Memory Of Elizabeth Reed.” Former Allman guitarist Jack Pearson would join the fun on the latter two songs. Bruzza then returned for Greensky’s “Wings For Wheels” before Strings reeled off a number of rock classics including the Little Milton-penned Jerry Garcia Band staple “That’s What Love Will Make You Do,” Led Zeppelin’s arrangement of the blues traditional “Good Times Bad Times,” The Band’s “The Shape I’m In” and “Up On Cripple Creek,” “Fire” by Jimi Hendrix and the New Orleans traditional made popular by The Dixie Cups, “Aiko Aiko.” Johnny Cash’s “Old Chunk Of Coal” would count as the penultimate song of the night before Billy Strings, and his powder blue Telecaster, closed out the evening with a guest-filled cover of Hank Williams’ “I Saw The Light.”

Check out video from the show via Suwannee HD Streams and Music City Maven below:

Sled Ride

Moonshiner w/Molly Tuttle

Sleigh Ride w/Bela Fleck and Kris Myers

Black Clouds w/Bela Fleck and Kris Myers

Sally Goodin w/ Michael Cleveland

Everyday I Have The Blues w/ Jack Pearson and Kris Myers

In Memory Of Elizabeth Reed w/ Jack Pearson and Kris Myers

I Saw The Light


Billy Strings
  • Sledd Ridin'
  • The Moonshiner
  • Friend and a Friend
  • Burn Another Candle at Both Ends
  • Roll in My Sweet Baby's Arms
  • Christmas Time's A-Coming
  • Big Mon
  • Beautiful Star of Bethlehem
  • Take Me to Harlan
  • Nobody's Fault but Mine
  • Sleigh Ride
  • Black Clouds
  • Christmas Lullaby
  • Santa Train
  • With a Vamp in the Middle
  • Footprint in the Snow
  • Sally Goodin
  • Jingle Bell Rock
  • Johnny B. Goode
  • Every Day I Have the Blues
  • In Memory of Elizabeth Reed
  • Do What's Right
  • Wings for Wheels
  • That's What Love Will Make You Do
  • Good Times Bad Times
  • The Shape I'm In
  • Fire
  • Up on Cripple Creek
  • Iko Iko
  • I'm Just an Old Chunk of Coal (But I'm Gonna Be a Diamond Someday)
  • I Saw the Light
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