Billy Strings Makes Alex Hargreaves Official Band Member
The fiddle player is now a full-time member of the group.
Billy Strings asked fiddler Alex Hargreaves to be a permanent band member last night in Baltimore. Strings made the expansion to a quintet official on Sunday during the second show of a two-night run at Pier Six Pavilion.
Near the end of the second set, Strings, mandolinist Jarrod Walker, bassist Royal Masat and banjoist Billy Failing each kneeled down to “propose” to Hargreaves, which he happily accepted to the delight of those on stage and in the crowd. Hargreaves has performed with Strings a number of times this year, including the last several stops of the current tour.
“I’ve really been enjoying playing so many shows with Alex Hargreaves on the fiddle,” Strings told the audience. “And I want to right now, here in front of everybody – actually we want, I can speak for these other three dudes up here – we want to ask you Alex: your tone, timing, intonation and double stops. That smile. I love everything about your fiddle playing, Alex. Will you take us to be your lawfully wedded band?”
Strings shouted “he said he does!” and then asked the audience for its approval, instructing the cheering fans to speak now or forever hold their peace. Following the proposal, the newly minted five-piece then launched into “A Good Woman’s Love.”
Earlier in the evening, Strings and his bandmates started the first set with a series of originals, opening with the staple “Meet Me At The Creek.” The five-piece then worked through “Secrets,” “Taking Water,” “Thirst Mutilator” and “Heartbeat Of America.” Next, the band delivered a section of covers, taking up The Stanley Brothers’ “Rank Stranger,” New Grass Revival’s “Whisper My Name,” The Oak Ridge Boys’ “Dig A Littler Deeper In The Well” and John Hartford’s “Today.” The first set ended with Strings’ “Wargasm.”
Set two got going with “Know It All” segueing into the often covered “Ole Slewfoot.” Strings then called up “Life To Go.” The song written by George Jones and popularized by Stonewall Jackson was first covered by Strings earlier this year and Sunday marked its third setlist appearance. The set continued with Strings’ “Away From The Mire” and “Long Forgotten Dream” preceding the proposal and Bill Monroe’s “A Good Woman’s Love.” The show ended with Strings’ “Turmoil & Tinfoil” and Jimmy Martin’s “Tennessee.”
After his show at Pier Six Pavilion, Strings headed over to Baltimore’s 8 x 10 Club to sit in with Kitchen Dwellers. Strings’ sit-in included a collaborative take on Bob Dylan’s “Tombstone Blues” and Monroe’s “Big Mon.” Watch audience-shot footage of Billy Strings joining Kitchen Dwellers in Baltimore below:
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Billy Strings Setlist (via BillyBase)
Set One: Meet Me At The Creek, Secrets, Taking Water > Thirst Mutilator, Love & Regret, Heartbeat Of America, Rank Stranger, Whisper My Name, Dig A Little Deeper In The Well, Today, Wargasm
Set Two: Know It All > Ole Slewfoot, Life To Go, Away From The Mire, Long Forgotten Dream, A Good Woman’s Love , Turmoil & Tinfoil , Tennessee
-  Before song started band gets down on their knees to Alex Hargreaves to join the band.
-  Inspector Gadget jam