Billy Strings Covers Bon Jovi At The Stone Pony

By Andy Kahn Nov 11, 2019 6:59 am PST

Billy Strings covered New Jersey natives Bon Jovi during his performance in their home state on Sunday night. The guitarist debuted a version of “Wanted Dead Or Alive” at the start of the second set at The Stone Pony in Asbury Park.

Strings and his band mates, banjoist Billy Failing, bassist Royal Masat and mandolinist Jarrod Walker, opened their first set in Jersey with “Taking Water.” They followed the opener with Doc Watson’s “Red Rocking Chair” containing a “Jerusalem Ridge” jam and a segue into Bill Monroe’s “Southern Flavor.” Later in the set, Strings sang lead on “Atlantic City” — previous performances of the Bruce Springsteen cover had featured Greensky Bluegrass mandolinist Paul Hoffman guesting on lead vocals. Strings & Co. closed the set with “On The Line” into The Stanley Brothers’ “Train 45.”

The second set began with Bon Jovi’s “Wanted Dead Or Alive.” The 1980s pop hit was trailed by “Long Forgotten Dream” and The Stanleys’ “Stone Walls & Steel Bars.” Set two also featured “Everything’s The Same,” “Away From The Mire,” The Rolling Stones’ “Wild Horses,” “Highway Hypnosis” and Jimmy Driftwood’s classic “Tennessee Stud.” The set closed with a pairing of “Likes Of Me” and “Meet Me At The Creek.” The recently debuted cover of “Roving Grambler” was selected for the night’s encore. Listen to Sunday’s concert via taper Keith Litzenberger below:

Wanted Dead Or Alive Captured by ricgrass


Setlist (via Billy Strings PT)

Set One: Taking Water, Red Rocking Chair [1] > Southern Flavor, Hollow Heart, Atlantic City [2], Watch It Fall, Going To The Races, Home, The Train That Carried My Girl From Town > Black Mountain Rag, Walking Boss, On The Line [3],[4] > Train 45

Set Two: Wanted Dead Or Alive [5], Long Forgotten Dream, Stone Walls & Steel Bars, Everything’s The Same, Away From The Mire, Wild Horses, Highway Hypnosis, Tennessee Stud, Likes Of Me > Meet Me At The Creek

Encore: Roving Gambler [6]


  • [1] Jerusalem Ridge jam
  • [2] FTP without Paul Hoffman/with Billy Strings on lead vocals
  • [3] “This message is brought to you by Cory Walker”
  • [4] “It’s a drone for the weakness” lyric change
  • [5] FTP
  • [6] “I hadn’t been in Jersey many more weeks than three” lyric change

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