Billy Strings Debuts ‘Boston Boy’ & ‘Big Ball In Boston’ Covers

Watch the band close the night with a “Big Ball In Boston” encore.

By Scott Bernstein Nov 18, 2021 7:31 am PST

Billy Strings debuted a pair of location-appropriate covers at Boston’s Wang Theatre on Wednesday. Strings led his band through traditional songs “Boston Boy” and “Big Ball in Boston” during last night’s show.

The guitarist, banjoist Billy Failing, bassist Royal Masat and mandolinist Jarrod Walker opened with “Red Daisy” from Strings’ recently released Renewal album. A take on Billy Hayes’ “I’ll Remember You, Love, In My Prayers” came next before the quartet paired “Bronzeback” and “Must Be Seven” along with “Fire Line” and “Running The Route.”

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Strings then led his mates on covers of “Peggy-O” and “Boston Boy.” The latter is an instrumental similar to “Uncle Pen” that a number of bluegrass acts have previously performed or recorded including David Grisman and Ricky Skaggs. Next came “Watch It Fall” off the guitarist’s Grammy-winning 2019 LP, Home and a set-closing “Likes Of Me” into “Meet Me At The Creek” sequence.

Last night’s second set got underway with Renewal stand out “Fire On My Tongue.” Strings and company then delivered a seamless run of “Taking Water,” “End Of The Rainbow,” “Thirst Mutilator” and “Dust In A Baggie.” From there, the group returned to Home for “Love Like Me” and “Highway Hypnosis.” Covers of Larry Sparks’ “John Deere Tractor” and Pearl Jam’s “In Hiding” followed. The band ended the set with “Hide & Seek.”

For the encore, Strings and his band debuted the traditional and The Kingston Trio popularized “Big Ball In Boston.” Watch fan-shot video footage featuring last night’s encore below:

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Billy Strings (See 749 videos)

Setlist (via Billy Strings Set List Page)

Set One: Red Daisy, I’ll Remember You Love In My Prayers, Bronzeback > Must Be Seven, Fire Line [1] > Running the Route, Peggy-O, Boston Boy [2], Watch It Fall, Likes of Me > Meet Me At The Creek

Set Two: Fire On My Tongue, Taking Water > End of the Rainbow > Thirst Mutilator > Dust in a Baggie, Love Like Me, Highway Hypnosis, John Deere Tractor [3], In Hiding, Hide & Seek

Encore: Big Ball in Boston [4]

  • [1] Jerusalem Ridge tease
  • [2] Debut – Traditional
  • [3] Dedicated to Joe and Marla, former owners of Terry’s Martin D-93
  • [4] Debut – Traditional

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