Billy Strings Spells Out ‘Don’t Be A Stranger’ With Cobblestone Setlist

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Billy Strings brought his band to Buffalo on Saturday for the first time in nearly two years. Strings and company played a set at the Cobblestone Live! Music & Arts Festival in which the first letter of each song spelled out “Don’t Be A Stranger,” so hopefully it won’t be as long until Billy returns to The Nickel City.

Strings, mandolin player Jarrod Walker, banjoist Billy Failing and bassist Royal Masat kicked off their Saturday afternoon performance with staple “Dust In A Baggie” and the always-paired sequence of “On The Line” and “Train 45.” Apparently, Billy considers the duo one in the same, as “Train 45” doesn’t count in the spelling of “Don’t Be A Stranger.” The quartet then covered Hot Rize’s “Nellie Cane” ahead of the sixth ever live performance of “Taking Water” from the forthcoming Home.

The set continued with covers of “Back On The Train” by Phish and The Carter Family’s “East Virginia Blues.” Billy then noted Jarrod Walker frequently requests that the band play Ralph Stanley & The Clinch Mountain Boys’ “A Robin Built A Nest On Daddy’s Grave” and even though it wasn’t the mandolinist birthday on this night “he gets what he wants.” Saturday’s “A Robin Built A Nest On Daddy’s Grave” was the four-piece’s first take on the song in 2019. Up next was another rarity, Bela Fleck’s “Slipstream” ahead of an expansive “Turmoil & Tinfoil” that spanned nearly 20 minutes.

Billy went on to explain the group had been on the road for three weeks and that their appearance at Cobblestone Live! was the last show of the tour. “We’re going home tonight!” Strings exclaimed before thanking the crowd “for sending us home with such good vibes.” A performance of “Ridin’ That Midnight Train” was followed the Home track “Away From The Mire,” which had its live debut the previous night in McKees Rock, Pennsylvania. The quartet concluded their visit to Buffalo with a run of “New Country Blues,” “Gotta Travel On,” “Ernest T. Grass” and “Roll On Buddy, Roll On.”

Watch pro-shot video via Buffalo.FM below:

Listen to an audience recording of Billy’s appearance at Cobblestone taped by Seth Nochajski and Keith Januszak below:

Setlist (via PT Billy Strings)

Set: Dust In A Baggie, On The Line > Train 45, Nellie Kane, Taking Water, Back On The Train, East Virginia Blues, A Robin Built A Nest On Daddy’s Grave, Slipstream, Turmoil & Tinfoil, Ridin’ That Midnight Train, Away From The Mire, New Country Blues> Gotta Travel On> Ernest T. Grass > Roll On Buddy, Roll On

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