Billy Strings Covers Grateful Dead’s ‘Alabama Getaway’ In Mobile

By Nate Todd Apr 10, 2021 9:34 am PDT

Billy Strings kicked off his three-night run at Ladd-Peebles Stadium in Mobile, Alabama on Friday. The show saw Strings and company debuting the Grateful Dead’s “Alabama Getaway” to begin the second set.

Billy and the band — bassist Royal Masat, mandolinist Jarrod Walker and banjoist Billy Failing — got the first set underway with “Talking Water” from Strings’ Grammy-winning 2019 album Home. The opener featured a solo from Walker that had Billy all smiles. The band then dropped into the newer tune, “Ice Bridges,” which Billy debuted during his Capitol Theatre run in February. The instrumental saw Strings reeling off the dark and yet whimsical melody with both Walker and Failing building variations off Billy’s riffs as they passed solos around, showcasing their skill as soloists but also Masat’s rock solid foundation. Another fairly recent tune in “Morning Light” came next before Billy greeted the Alabama audience.

Strings and company then embarked on a massive, fully segued segment to close out the set that began with “Long Forgotten Dream” which headed into yet another new one, “Living Like An Animal.” The segue continued with the Grateful Dead covered John Phillips tune “Me And My Uncle” ahead of “While I’m Waiting” and the classic “Pyramid Country.” The first frame came to a close with a rowdy cover of “Freeborn Man” which saw Billy getting the crowd riled up and smoke smokin’ licks from Failing and Walker.

The second set commenced with Billy’s unveiling of the apropos “Alabama Getaway,” adding yet another Dead tune to his repertoire. The new originals kept coming with “Fire Line” ahead of the traditional “Red Rocking Chair” which led into Led Zeppelin’s “Four Sticks.” The choice cover featured some effects on Billy’s voice, dripping with echo and reverb, as he channeled Robert Plant, no easy feat. Billy then channeled Jimmy Page, utilizing some husky overdrive on his guitar for the wild psychedelic sections.

A song Walker co-wrote with fiddler and frequent collaborator Christian Ward followed. “Red Daisy” already has the trappings of a bluegrass standard and featured Billy reeling off some mind-blowing runs between verses. “Show Me The Door” prefaced the penultimate song of the evening, a cover of The String Cheese Incident vintage tune “Black Clouds.” Billy and the band brought things back Home with “Away From The Mire” to conclude Night One in Mobile.

Watch video from the show below via the JamBase Live Video Archive:

Show Openers

Billy Strings (See 96 videos)
Billy Strings (See 671 videos)

Freeborn Man

Music City Maven (See 39 videos)
Billy Strings (See 671 videos)

Four Sticks

Music City Maven (See 39 videos)
Billy Strings (See 671 videos)

Red Daisy

Music City Maven (See 39 videos)
Billy Strings (See 671 videos)


Billy Strings at Ladd-Peebles Stadium

Set 1
  • Taking Water
  • Ice Bridges
  • Morning Light
  • Long Forgotten Dream  
  • Living Like an Animal  
  • Me and My Uncle  
  • While I'm Waiting Here  
  • Pyramid Country  
  • Freeborn Man  
Set 2
  • Alabama Getaway  
  • Fire Line
  • Red Rocking Chair  
  • Four Sticks  
  • Red Daisy
  • Show Me the Door
  • Black Clouds  
  • Away From the Mire
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