Billy Strings Welcomes Christian Ward & Cory Walker In St. Augustine

Watch the guests join a debut cover performance of a Béla Fleck song.

By Andy Kahn May 1, 2022 11:36 am PDT

Billy Strings brought out fiddler Christian Ward and banjoist Cory Walker during his concert last night in St. Augustine, Florida. The middle show of a three-night stand at The Amp saw the guests accompany the guitarist and his bandmates on a debut cover of Béla Fleck’s song “Whitewater.”

Cory Walker is the brother of mandolinist Jarrod Walker, who performs in Strings’ band and was a member of Bradford Lee Folk and The Bluegrass Playboys alongside Ward and his banjo picking brother. The pair of guests joined Strings and his additional band members, bassist Royal Masat and banjoist Billy Failing, toward the end of the first set. The auxiliary fiddler and banjoist emerged to augment a location-appropriate rendition of Bill Monroe’s “My Florida Sunshine.” Strings had performed the song once prior, in 2019, also with Ward sitting in.

The special guests remained for the rest of the set, which consisted of The Stanley Brothers’ “A Robin Built a Nest on Daddy’s Grave” and the traditional “John Hardy.” Between those covers came Strings’ live debut of Béla Fleck’s “Whitewater.” The song originally appeared on the master banjo player’s all-star 1988 solo album, Drive.

Set two began with “Secrets,” followed by Ward retaking the stage to sit-in on “Show Me The Door” and also adding fiddle to Chris Hardy’s “West Dakota Rose.” Ward and Cory Walker came back once more at the end of the show, joining Strings and Co. during an encore offering of Monroe’s “Roll On Buddy Roll On.”

Billy Strings wraps his three-night run at St. Augustine Amphitheatre in St. Augustine, Florida tonight. Watch audience-shot video of Billy Strings debuting a cover of Béla Fleck’s “Whitewater” and more captured at Saturday’s concert below:


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Setlist (via BillyBase.net)

Set One: Meet Me At The Creek, Old Man At The Mill > Clinch Mountain Backstep, Red Rocking Chair, This Heart Of Mine > Dealing Despair, Hellbender, Highway Hypnosis, My Florida Sunshine [1], A Robin Built A Nest On Daddy’s Grave [1], Whitewater [1], [2] > John Hardy [1]

Set Two: Secrets > Show Me The Door [3], West Dakota Rose [3], The Fire On My Tongue [4] > Ole Slewfoot, Peggy-O, End Of The Rainbow, Likes Of Me > Away From The Mire,

Encore: Roll On Buddy, Roll On [1]

Notes:

  • [1] With Christian Ward (fiddle) & Cory Walker (banjo)
  • [2] FTP (Béla Fleck)
  • [3] With Christian Ward (fiddle)
  • [4] Under the Sea tease
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