Billy Strings Debuts Gospel Standard In Denver

By Scott Bernstein Dec 16, 2019 7:46 am PST

Billy Strings ended a run of three sold-out concerts at the Ogden Theatre in Denver on Sunday night. Strings and his band closed out the night by gathering around a single mic for their debut cover of the satirical gospel song “If Your Hair’s Too Long, There’s Sin In Your Heart.”

Last night’s first set began with “Everything’s The Same” from Billy’s 2019 studio album, Home. Strings then led his four-piece through Little Feat’s “Willin’,” Muleskinner’s “New Camptown Races” and David Grisman’s “Unwanted Love.” The original “All Of Tomorrow” came next ahead of covers of The Beatles’ “And Your Bird Can Sing,” Bill Monroe’s “The Big Mon” and “I Haven’t Seen Mary In Years.” The title track from Home followed along with a tribute to the late Jeff Austin in the form of “Sorrow Is A Highway.” Billy Strings and his band ended the set with takes on Jerry Garcia’s “To Lay Me Down” and The String Cheese Incident’s “Black Clouds.”


The traditional “Little Maggie” opened the group’s final set of the run. Billy Strings, bassist Royal Masat, mandolin player Jarrod Walker and banjoist Billy Failing then presented a sequence of “Slipstream” into the traditional “Red Rocking Chair” into Black Sabbath’s “Planet Caravan” into John Hartford’s “All Fall Down.” Next up were covers of Flatt & Scruggs’ “Doin’ My Time,” Cher’s “Believe” and Gordon Lightfoot’s “10 Degrees & Getting Colder.” The band showed off their improvisational prowess on the “Turmoil & Tinfoil” that closed the frame. Billy and his band returned for the encore with Strings accompanying his mates on guitar and Walker on mandolin for an otherwise a capella “If Your Hair’s Too Long, There’s Sin Your Heart.” Strings told the crowd, “Maybe some of you hippies might be able to take a little notion from the tune,” before starting the satirical gospel standard in which he changed the lyric “you’ll live a life of fear and dread with a tangled mess upon your head” to “you’ll live a life of fear and dread if you listen to the Grateful Dead.”

Watch a pair of fan-shot videos from last night’s show below:

If Your Hair’s Too Long, There’s Sin In Your Heart Captured by panicpilgrims


Turmoil & Tinfoil Captured by Kendra Hunter

Setlist (via Setlist.FM)

Set One: Everything’s The Same, Willin’, New Camptown Races > Unwanted Love, All Of Tomorrow, And Your Bird Can Sing, The Big Mon, I Haven’t Seen Mary In Years, Home, Sorrow Is A Highway, To Lay Me Down, Black Clouds

Set Two: Little Maggie, Slipstream > Red Rocking Chair > Planet Caravan > All Fall Down, Doin’ My Time, Believe, 10 Degrees & Getting Colder, Turmoil & Tinfoil

Encore: If Your Hair Is Too Long, There Is Sin In Your Heart


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