Billy Strings Debuts Bill Monroe Cover In Wilkes-Barre

By Andy Kahn Sep 14, 2020 8:06 am PDT

Billy Strings continued his Meet Me At The Drive-In Tour by closing out a three-night stand with a show Sunday at Mohegan Sun Arena in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. The concert coincided with what would have been Bill Monroe’s birthday and Strings honored the father of bluegrass by performing several covers, including the debut of “Close By.”

Sunday’s first set contained only two Strings’ originals, “Thirst Mutilator” coming in the third slot and “Enough to Leave” as the penultimate choice of the set. John Hartford’s “I’m Still Here” segued into The Monkees’ “Last Train to Clarksville” to open the show. Phish’s “Back On The Train” led to a string of Monroe covers, “Dusty Miller,” “I Haven’t Seen Mary in Years” and the aforementioned “Close By” debut. Set one also featured covers of “Rawhide” and a closing version of The String Cheese Incident “Black Clouds.”


A run of originals began the second set as Strings and his band mate, banjo player Billy Failing worked through “Dos Banjos” before the rest of the band joined for “On the Line” into “Train 45.” Another Monroe tune, “The Gold Rush,” came next, followed by “Watch It Fall,” a cover of “I’ll Remember You, Love, in My Prayers” and Strings’ “Home” and “Dealing Despair.” The second set closed with covers of the Grateful Dead’s “Wharf Rat,” Jeff Austin’s “15 Steps” with “Don’t Stop Believing” and “Shakedown Street” teases and J.J. Cale’s “Ride Me High” with elements of “Another Brick in the Wall.”

One final nod to the Big Mon came during the encore as Strings capped the show with Monroe’s “Y’All Come.” The full show can be streamed below via tapers Bob Fellin and Keith Litzenberger:



Billy Strings
  • I'm Still Here
  • Last Train to Clarksville
  • Thirst Mutilator
  • Back on the Train
  • Dusty Miller
  • I Haven't Seen Mary in Years
  • Close By
  • Raw Hide
  • Enough to Leave
  • Black Clouds
  • Dos Banjos
  • On the Line
  • The Gold Rush
  • Watch It Fall
  • I'll Remember You, Love, in My Prayers
  • Home
  • Dealing Despair
  • Wharf Rat
  • 15 Steps
  • Ride Me High
  • Y'all Come
Setlist data
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