Billy Strings Unveils Beatles Cover At London Debut
Watch nearly complete video of Billy Strings’ London debut.
By Nate Todd Mar 26, 2022 • 9:43 am PDT
Billy Strings made his London debut on Friday. The guitarist and his band debuted The Beatles’ “I’ve Just Seen A Face” toward the end of one long set at Rough Trade East.
Billy and company — mandolinist Jarrod Walker, bassist Royal Masat and banjo player Billy Failing — got their London premiere underway with “Everything’s The Same” off his Grammy-winning 2019 album, Home. The acclaimed artist then turned to material from his Grammy-nominated 2021 LP Renewal with “Hellbender” and “This Old World.” Strings then linked up the Doc Watson-related tunes “The Train That Carried My Girl From Town” and the instrumental “Black Mountain Rag.”
Renewal’s “Secrets” and “Morning Light” followed, split by Tony Rice’s intricate instrumental “Tipper.” Billy then kicked off a three-song seamless section that began with Jerry Reed’s “Likes Of Me” before heading into the original instrumental “Pyramid Country.” Strings capped off the section with the debut of The Beatles’ “I’ve Just Seen A Face.” The Paul McCartney-sung Help! cut has become a favorite among bluegrass artists as it’s essentially a bluegrass song. Strings and the band delivered some high and lonesome harmonies on the iconic chorus and Billy offered a spot on rendition of the melodic solo.
The Billys, Royal and Jarrod then gathered around a single mic for the final three songs of the set which began with the traditional “Been All Around This World.” Billy then addressed the London audience. “We wanted to play a little bluegrass for you guys,” he said. “There’s a lot of fiddle tunes that originated here in Europe and made their way over to America and into the ears of hillbillies like me. So thanks to all your great, great grandfathers for all their neat fiddle tunes.” Strings and company wrapped up the set with a single mic “How Mountain Girls Can Love” ahead of some great harmonies on “If Your Hair Is Too Long (There’s Sin In Your Heart).” Billy heads to Londons’s Islington Assembly Hall tonight and tomorrow night. Livestreams are available via nugs.net.
Watch nearly complete fan-shot video of Billy’s London debut below:
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Setlist (via BillyBase)
Set: Everything’s the Same, Hellbender, This Old World, Train That Carried My Girl From Town > Black Mountain Rag, Secrets, Tipper, Morning Light, Likes of Me > Pyramid Country > I’ve Just Seen a Face(1), Been All Around this World(2), How Mountain Girls Can Love(2), If Your Hair’s Too Long (There’s Sin in Your Heart)
(1) FTP – The Beatles
(2) Single Mic
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