Billy Strings Jams On Grateful Dead’s ‘Dark Star’ At Mobile Finale

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Billy Strings closed out a three-night stand and spring tour with his band at Ladd-Peebles Stadium in Mobile, Alabama on Sunday night. Strings, bassist Royal Masat, mandolinist Jarrod Walker and banjoist Billy Failing worked portions of a cover of the Grateful Dead classic “Dark Star” into and out of other songs within last night’s second set.

The quartet kicked off Sunday’s concert with the recently debuted “Fire On My Tongue” and then treated fans to covers of Doc Watson’s “Walk On Boy,” Carter Stanley’s “Sharecropper’s Son” and Red Sovine’s “Bringing Mary Home.” Next, Turmoil & Tinfoil track “On The Line” was followed by “Train 45” and the group’s second ever rendition of “Red Mountain Wine” by Gib Guilbeau.

Strings and company continued the opening frame with a take on Danny Barnes’ “Pretty Daughter” and “Enough To Leave” from Billy’s Grammy-winning Home LP. An 11-minute cover of The Dillards’ “Ernest T. Grass” then led into the Greensky Bluegrass gem “A Letter To Seymour.” The four-piece capped the set with “Wargasm,” an original premiered at The Capitol Theatre in Port Chester, New York back in February.

Last night’s second set began with Home standout “Everything’s The Same.” Billy and his mates then paired Frank Wakefield’s “End Of The Rainbow” with “Secrets,” another original first played at The Cap in February. From there, Strings and the band started “Dark Star,” a Grateful Dead cover unveiled in Port Chester earlier this year. The initial portion of “Dark Star,” including the first verse, gave way to “Spinning” from Turmoil & Tinfoil before a three-minute “Dark Star” reprise.

The second “Dark Star” of the evening led into a cover of Black Sabbath’s “Planet Caravan,” which bled into the instrumental “Ice Bridges.” Strings, Masat, Walker and Failing returned to “Dark Star” before ending the frame with a +17-minute “Meet Me At The Creek.” The band encored with Jimmy Rogers’ “In The Hills Of Tennessee,” as their next gig will take place at The Bonnaroo Farm in Manchester, Tennessee on May 28.

First Five Songs

Billy Strings (See 68 videos)

Dark Star > Spinning > Dark Star > Planet Caravan > Ice Bridges > Dark Star


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Setlist (via Billy Strings Set List Page)

Set One: Fire On My Tongue, Walk On Boy, Sharecropper’s Son, Bringing Mary Home, On The Line > Train 45, Red Mountain Wine, Pretty Daughter, Enough To Leave, Ernest T Grass > Letter To Seymour, Wargasm

Set Two: Everything’s The Same, End Of The Rainbow, Secrets, Dark Star > Spinning > Dark Star > Planet Caravan > Ice Bridges > Dark Star, Meet Me At The Creek

Encore: In The Hills Of Tennessee

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