Billy Strings Finishes Texas Run With Alex Hargreaves

Listen to audio of Friday’s concert in Austin and Saturday’s show in Dallas.

By Scott Bernstein Apr 25, 2022 7:06 am PDT

Guitarist Billy Strings expanded his band with talented fiddler Alex Hargreaves for a three-night swing through Texas that started in Houston on Thursday, continued in Austin on Friday and concluded in Dallas on Saturday. Strings mined his repertoire for geographically-appropriate songs throughout the run, including his debut cover of “Deep In The Heart Of Texas” at Austin’s Moody Amphitheater.

  • Billy Strings Welcomes Alex Hargreaves In Houston

    Billy Strings Welcomes Alex Hargreaves In Houston

    Billy Strings hit Houston on Thursday where he welcomed fiddler Alex Hargreaves.

Billy, Alex, bassist Royal Masat, banjoist Billy Failing and mandolinist Jarrod Walker kicked off Friday’s concert at the Moody Amphitheater at Waterloo Park with a fiddle-heavy cover of Jerry Reed’s “Likes Of Me” that gave way to a well-jammed “Pyramid Country.” The latter bled into the traditional “Little Maggie” to end the riveting sequence to open the evening. Next up was the tender “Show Me The Door,” one of four songs from Strings’ Renewal album played in Austin.

Friday’s first set was also highlighted by a rare take on Pearl Jam’s “Elderly Woman Behind The Counter In A Small Town,” a “Turmoil & Tinfoil” featuring stellar interplay between Strings and Hargreaves and the band’s second version of Béla Fleck’s “Tentacle Dragon (Revenge Of The).” Billy contributed to the version of the latter featured on Fleck’s My Bluegrass Heart LP. The guitarist talked about his experience recording the song before lighting into the set-closing “Tentacle Dragon.”

The quintet went with the fitting Doc Watson song “Texas Gales” to get the second set underway in Austin. An extended “Fire Line” then bled into “Running The Route” before the band completed a trio of Renewal cuts with “In The Morning Light.” Next, Strings led the ensemble through Widespread Panic’s “All Time Low,” which they jammed into their first-ever “Deep In The Heart Of Texas.” Additionally played songs to end the encore-less night in Austin included originals “Everything’s The Same,” “Enough To Leave,” “Must Be Seven” and “Away From The Mire” as well as covers of the traditional “Sally Goodin” and Arlie Duff’s “Y’all Come.”

Billy Strings capped the Texas run at Dallas’ The Pavilion at Toyota Music Factory on Saturday with a 24-song concert. The five-piece opened with the traditional “John Hardy” and then looked to 2017’s Turmoil & Tinfoil for “While I’m Waiting Here.” A nicely extended “Wargasm” followed before the band treated fans to covers of Jeff Austin’s “Fiddling Around,” Bill Monroe’s “Dusty Miller” and Flatt & Scruggs’ “Doin’ My Time.” Next up was “Watch It Fall” from Home, an album also represented in Dallas by “Taking Water,” “Highway Hypnosis” and “Hollow Heart.”

Strings, Hargreaves, Masat, Failing and Walker played five Renewal tracks in Dallas, as “Know It All,” “Ice Bridges,” “Secrets,” “Nothing’s Working” and “Hide & Seek” each made the setlist. The latter closed out the evening’s second set and spanned over 15 minutes. Another highlight from the second set in Dallas was the group’s third cover of Allen Reynolds’ “Ready For The Times To Get Better.” Billy Strings and his bandmates went on to end the night and Texas run by encoring with “Tennessee” by Jimmy Martin.

Listen to audience recordings of both shows HealthCov Chris below:


Setlists (via

Friday, April 22 — Austin

Set One: Likes Of Me > Pyramid Country > Little Maggie, Show Me The Door, Rosa Lee McFall, Slow Train, Elderly Woman Behind The Counter In A Small Town, Turmoil & Tinfoil, Tentacle Dragon (Revenge Of The) [1]

Set Two: Texas Gales, Fire Line > Running The Route, In The Morning Light, All Time Low > Deep In The Heart Of Texas [2] > Everything’s The Same, Enough To Leave, Sally Goodin > Must Be Seven > Away From The Mire, Y’all Come

  • [1] – Hey Flux come downtown chant
  • [2] – First Time Played

With Alex Hargreaves on fiddle for the entire show

Saturday, April 23 — Dallas

Set One: John Hardy, While I’m Waiting Here, Wargasm, Fiddling Around, Dusty Miller, Doin’ My Time, Watch It Fall, Tennessee Stud, Know It All, Rank Stranger, Taking Water > Ice Bridges, Katy Daley

Set Two: Secrets, Drifter’s Escape, Nothing’s Working, Hollow Heart, West Dakota Rose, Highway Hypnosis, Ready For The Times To Get Better, On The Line, Train, Train > Hide & Seek

Encore: Tennessee

With Alex Hargreaves on fiddle for the entire show


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