Billy Strings Doubles Down On ‘Deal’ At Capitol Theatre

Watch Billy close the second set with GD’s “Deal” and encore with “Don’t Let Your Deal Go Down.”

By Nate Todd Feb 6, 2022 12:14 pm PST

Billy Strings delivered night three of his “Deja Tu — Return to the Experiment” run at The Capitol Theatre in Port Chester, New York on Saturday. Billy played the Grateful Dead’s “Deal” to close the second set and encored with the bluegrass standard “Don’t Let Your Deal Go Down.”

As the band took the stage Billy addressed an audience member who needed some assistance. “Just making sure our buddy feels comfortable. Maybe get him to the back and get him a chair and a glasss of water,” he said before adding, “Cause we ain’t even fucking started yet.” Billy made sure the fan and rest of the crowd were okay before getting started, as he did the night previous, with a track, “Red Daisy,” off his Grammy-nominated 2021 album Renewal before taking it back to his 2016 self-titled EP with the instrumental “Thirst Mutilator.” The first frame also saw a pairing of Bill Emerson’s “Home Of The Red Fox” with the traditional “Little Maggie.” The quartet then embarked on a four-song seamless set-closing section beginning with the Grateful Dead’s “China Doll” followed by John Harford’s “I’m Still Here,” The Monkees “Last Train To Clarksville” and “Everythings The Same” off Billy’s Grammy-winning 2019 album, Home.


Les Claypool was the “receiver” for the ESP experiment on night three (Billy recently shared a photo of him collaborating with the Primus bassist). The audience was encouraged to send an image of a horse smoking a joint to Les at his home in Seabastopol, California. The music got going with the Flatt & Scruggs-recorded, Jimmie Skinner number “Doin’ My Time” before a coupling of “Running” and “Ice Bridges.” Renewal’s “In The Morning Light” and “Meet Me At The Creek” from Billy’s 2017 album Turmoil & Tinfoil followed. The traditional “Shady Groove,” a standard recorded by Jerry Gracia and David Grisman, fell in the penultimate slot of the second set before Strings closed the frame down with a grassy cover of the Robert Hunter/Jerry Garcia number “Deal.”

“Deal” was a Grateful Dead staple the band debuted at The Capitol Theatre during their performance there on February 19, 1971, during which GD also unveiled “Bird Song.” Both “Bird Song” and “Deal” later appeared on Jerry’s 1972 debut solo album, Garcia. Jerry and Robert Hunter likely drew inspiration for “Deal” from the traditional “Don’t Let Your Deal Go Down,” first recorded by Charlie Poole in 1925 and later made a bluegrass standard by the aforementioned Flatt & Scruggs. Always keenly aware of history, Billy Strings returned after “Deal” to encore with “Don’t Let Your Deal Go Down” to bring night three to a close.

Watch fan-shot footage of “Deal” and “Don’t Let You Deal Go Down” and well as pro-shot video of the first and second set opening songs below:

Sean Roche (See 91 videos)
Billy Strings (See 726 videos)

Sean Roche (See 91 videos)
Billy Strings (See 726 videos)

Billy Strings (See 97 videos)
Billy Strings (See 726 videos)

Billy Strings (See 97 videos)


Billy Strings
  • Red Daisy
  • Thirst Mutilator
  • A Good Woman's Love
  • A Robin Built a Nest on Daddy's Grave
  • While I'm Waiting Here
  • Home of the Red Fox
  • Little Maggie
  • China Doll
  • I'm Still Here
  • Last Train to Clarksville
  • Everything's the Same
  • Doin' My Time
  • Running
  • Ice Bridges
  • In the Morning Light
  • Meet Me at the Creek
  • Shady Grove
  • Deal
  • Don't Let Your Deal Go Down
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