Billy Strings Welcomes Alex Hargreaves & Debuts Traditional Covers In Dayton

Hear the guitarist and his expanded band premiere takes on “Maggie Walker Blues” and “Cattle In The Cain.”

By Scott Bernstein Jun 16, 2022 9:05 am PDT

Billy Strings brought an expanded band featuring fiddler Alex Hargreaves to Dayton, Ohio on Wednesday to kick off his summer tour. Strings, Hargreaves, bassist Royal Masat, mandolinist Jarrod Walker and banjoist Billy Failing worked debuts of two traditional tunes into the setlist at Rose Music Center at the Heights last night with the group premiering “Maggie Walker Blues” in the first set and “Cattle In The Cain” in the second.

Alex Hargreaves has been a frequent collaborator with Strings over the past few months. The acclaimed musician first joined Billy’s band for a three-night March run in Madison and sat-in at a handful of shows since. Hargreaves’ fiddle work was on display throughout the night in Dayton.

Billy opened last night’s concert with “Red Daisy” from his 2021 album, Renewal, after telling the crowd how excited he was to return to the road. Next up was a seamless segment linking Renewal’s “Fire Line” with oldie “Thirst Mutilator” and “Hollow Heart” off 2019’s Home. Strings returned to his latest album for “Nothing’s Working” and “Love & Regret,” which were split by covers of Bill Monroe’s “Dusty Miller” and an extended take on John Hartford’s “All Fall Down.”

Last night’s “Love & Regret” bled into the traditional “Maggie Walker Blues.” Strings played the song in the style of Doc Watson and went on to end the first set with the beloved “Dust In A Baggie” following band member introductions.

Advertisement

The quintet got the second set underway with a big surprise as they dusted off Bill Monroe’s “Uncle Pen.” Billy had only performed “Uncle Pen” prior on November 21, 2018 in Manistee, Michigan as per BillyBase.net. The guitarist then put the focus back on Renewal for a run of “Secrets,” “Heartbeat Of America” and “In The Morning Light.”

Strings’ second set continued with his signature cover of “Tangled Up In Blue.” Billy and his bandmates jammed the Bob Dylan cover into their first ever “Cattle In The Cain.” The guitarist joins an impressive list of those who have covered the traditional instrumental tune that also includes Tony Rice, Normal Blake, Jimmy Arnold and Sam Bush with Del McCoury. From there, the five musicians performed the title track from Home and encapsulated their first take on Greensky Bluegrass’ “Reverend” since September within the set-closing “Away From The Mire.”

Billy thanked the crowd for attending upon his return for the encore. The band said farewell to the Dayton faithful with a take on John Hartford’s “Steam Powered Aereo Plane” sung by Billy Failing and Home standout “Everything’s The Same.”

Watch fan-shot video featuring last night’s encore here:


00:02:15
00:07:25
tasteforphree (See 5 videos)
Billy Strings (See 738 videos)

Stream an audience recording taped by Jim Mal below:

Loading tour dates

Advertisement

Setlist (via BillyBase)

Set One: Red Daisy, Fire Line > Thirst Mutilator > Hollow Heart, Nothing’s Working, Dusty Miller, All Fall Down, Love & Regret, Maggie Walker Blues [1], Dust In A Baggie

Set Two: Uncle Pen, Secrets, Heartbeat Of America, In The Morning Light, Tangled Up In Blue > Cattle In The Cain [1], Home, Away From The Mire > Reverend > Away From The Mire

Encore: Steam Powered Aereo Plane, Everything’s The Same

[1] – First Time Played, Traditional

  • Emmylou Harris, Billy Strings & Marcus King Join Marty Stuart At The Ryman

    Emmylou Harris, Billy Strings & Marcus King Join Marty Stuart At The Ryman 

  • Billy Strings, Anders Beck & Lindsay Lou Among Leftover Salmon’s Guests In Nashville

    Billy Strings, Anders Beck & Lindsay Lou Among Leftover Salmon’s Guests In Nashville 

  • Billy Strings Appears On Cory Wong’s ‘Cory And The Wongnotes’ Variety Show

    Billy Strings Appears On Cory Wong’s ‘Cory And The Wongnotes’ Variety Show 

JamBase Collections