Me / And / Dad: Watch Billy Strings Bring Out His Father Terry Barber At Allstate Arena

The collaboration took place during the first of two shows at the venue outside of Chicago.

By Andy Kahn May 28, 2024 7:46 am PDT

Billy Strings made his debut at Allstate Arena in Rosemont, Illinois with a pair of concerts at the venue outside of Chicago. The first show, on Friday, May 24, saw Strings bring out his father, Terry Barber, for a trio of songs at the end of the second set.

Strings credits Barber as his most significant musical mentor. On his recent WTF podcast appearance, Strings talked to host Marc Maron about his relationship with Barber, who became Strings’ parent after the death of his biological father when Strings was 2 years old.

“[Barber] just stepped in and raised us. That man taught me how to tie my shoes and wipe my ass. My dad would take me fishing … my dad’s my hero man. He’s just the best and so even when I was a little kid, it’s like, man, I wanna be just like my dad. So that’s why I’m a guitar player, but he’s also a bass fisherman. He taught me about Doc Watson, and he taught me how to play guitar, how to fish …

“It’s the most beautiful thing because he’s not my biological father, scientifically or whatever, but I am so his son. When I view the world, I look through a lens that is from him. He taught me how to be the man that I am.

“You know, that’s my dad.”

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Strings and Barber released the Grammy-nominated collaborative album, ME/AND/DAD, in 2022. One of the songs they recorded for that album, “Little Cabin Home On The Hill” by Lester Flatt and Bill Monroe, was played on Friday at the Allstate Arena. The performance was Strings’ first time playing the song since March 1, 2020, a span of 362 shows.

Prior to that, Barber joined Strings and his bandmates – banjoist Billy Failing, mandolinist Jarrod Walker, fiddler Alex Hargreaves and bassist Royal Masat – around a single microphone for a take on Bill Monroe’s “Mother’s Not Dead,” which Strings last played in 2022 and has now played just five times. Barber took over lead vocals for “On The Southbound,” the bluegrass favorite he last performed on November 6, 2021, a span of 259 shows between setlist appearances.

Watch Billy Strings / And / Dad Terry Barber’s collaboration outside Chicago below:


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Slewfoot33
Billy Strings (See 749 videos) and Terry Barber (See 8 videos)

00:00:00
Slewfoot33
Billy Strings (See 749 videos) and Terry Barber (See 8 videos)

00:00:00
Slewfoot33
Billy Strings (See 749 videos) and Terry Barber (See 8 videos)
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Setlist (via BillyBase)

Set One: Hello, City Limits; Fire Line > Running The Route > East Virginia Blues, Hellbender, My Alice, So Many Miles [1] > Dealing Despair, Home [2], Sally Goodin > John Hardy

Set Two: On The Line > Train 45 > Ruby, The Cuckoo > Long Forgotten Dream, Nothing’s Working, Heartbeat Of America, Pretty Daughter, Give The Fiddler A Dram [3], Whistling Rufus [3], Ragtime Annie [3], Catch and Release [4], In the Clear, Psycho > Pyramid Country > Ridin’ That Midnight Train, Mother’s Not Dead [5][6], On The Southbound [5][7][8], Little Cabin Home On The Hill [5][9]

Notes:

  • [1] Billy Failing on lead vocals
  • [2] Billy Strings on his “Bride” Preston-Thompson D-SBA Custom guitar
  • [3] Billy Strings solo
  • [4] Billy Strings solo, seated center stage
  • [5] Full band w/ Billy Strings’ Dad, Terry Barber (guitar, vocals), single mic center stage
  • [6] Last Time Played 2022-10-31 | 146 Shows
  • [7] Terry Barber lead vocals
  • [8] Last Time Played 2021-11-06 | 259 Shows
  • [9] Last Time Played 2020-03-01 | 362 Shows
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