Billy Strings Debuts David Grisman Cover In Wilkes-Barre

By Nate Todd Sep 13, 2020 10:56 am PDT

Billy Strings continued his Meet Me At The Drive-In socially distanced concert run outside Mohegan Sun Arena in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania on Saturday. The guitarist unveiled a David Grisman cover during the second set on night two of three at Mohegan Sun.

Billy got things going with “Taking Water,” which featured a solid round of solos from Strings, mandolinist Jarrod Walker and banjo player Billy Failing over Royal Masat’s rolling basslines. The band continued with the Tony Rice instrumental “Tipper” ahead of Jeff Austin’s “Rundown” and Bob Dylan’s “Señor (Tales of Yankee Power).” Billy got back to original material with “Highway Hypnosis” and “While I’m Waiting Here” from his album’s Home and Turmoil & Tinfoil respectively. Strings and company then delivered a run of bluegrass classics with Charlie Monroe’s “Rosa Lee McFall,” The Stanley Brothers’ “Daybreak In Dixie” (also known as “Ralph’s Banjo Special”) — which featured some smokin’ pickin’ all around — and the traditional “Little Maggie.” As they had done with “Home Of The Red Fox” the night previous, Billy and the band stretched out a bit on John Hartford’s “All Fall Down,” which kicked off with a groovy bassline from Masat with Billy adding some phased out guitar in a vibey opening sequence. Strings kicked it up a notch at the end with some crunchy distortion before bringing the song and set to a close.

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Strings got the second set underway with “Running” before Billy Failing led the band through his stellar song, “So Many Miles.” After singing the song proper backed up by Billy, Failing delivered a delightfully dark banjo solo that evolved into a free for all that led the tune to its conclusion. After “Hollow Heart,” the band continued with The Dillards’ “There Is A Time” and Danny Barnes’ “Pretty Daughter” before performing David Grisman’s “16/16” for the first time. Billy prefaced the song by saying “Wherever you are, we love you Dawg!” and then got into the intricate instrumental, which appears on The David Grisman Quintet’s 1977 self-titled LP as well as the 1998 record So What, which features cuts with Jerry Garcia. After the traditional “Red Rocking Chair,” Billy capped off the set with three originals: “Doin’ Things Right” (which featured a “wear a mask” lyric change), “Everything’s The Same” and a monster “Meet Me At The Creek” that stretched to nearly 20 minutes. Billy and the band would remerge for an encore of The Doc Watson Family-popularized “And Am I Born To Die” and Bill Monroe’s “Roll On Buddy, Roll On.”

Listen to the entire show below via Keith Litzenberger:

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Setlist

Billy Strings
  • Taking Water
  • Tipper
  • Run Down
  • Señor (Tales of Yankee Power)
  • Highway Hypnosis
  • While I'm Waiting Here
  • Rosa Lee McFall
  • Ralph's Banjo Special
  • Little Maggie
  • All Fall Down
  • Running
  • So Many Miles
  • Hollow Heart
  • There Is a Time
  • Pretty Daughter
  • 16/16
  • Red Rocking Chair
  • Doin' Things Right
  • Everything's the Same
  • Meet Me at the Creek
  • And Am I Born to Die?
  • Roll On Buddy Roll On
Setlist data setlist.fm.
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