Billy Strings Covers Grateful Dead, Widespread Panic, Jackson Browne & More At Columbia Speedway

By Nate Todd Apr 4, 2021 10:02 am PDT

Billy Strings delivered the third of four concerts on Saturday at Columbia Speedway in Cayce, South Carolina. Strings and company offered up covers of the Grateful Dead, Widespread Panic, Jackson Browne and more.

As they did the night previous, Billy and the band — bassist Royal Masat, mandolinist Jarrod Walker and banjo player Billy Failing — kicked things off with a song, “Long Forgotten Dream,” from Strings’ Grammy-winning 2019 album, Home. The quartet then got into cover material with Jerry Reed’s “The Likes Of Me” — a song also covered by Tony Rice, one of three Rice-recorded songs Billy would play — followed by Widespread Panic’s “All Time Low.” Strings unveiled the Panic number in WSP’s hometown of Athens, Georgia in September 2019, as per Phantasy Tour, and the song has remained a cover staple for Strings and company.


The band then reeled off a slew of original material beginning with an instrumental Walker co-wrote with fiddler Christian Ward (who Walker has played in previous bands with) called “Running The Route,” the band debuted the number during their Deja Vu Experiment run at the Capitol Theatre in February, which found its way into the Failing-penned “So Many Miles.” Another Walker/Ward tune, “Red Daisy, followed ahead of, “Wargasm.” The third-ever performance of the Bob Weir and John Perry Barlow-penned “Cassidy,” which became a Grateful Dead staple, came next followed by The Dillards classic “Ernest T. Grass” and the traditional, “Little Maggie,” to close out the first frame.

Billy began the second set with another fairly new original, “Bronzeback,” ahead of Yonder Moutain String Band’s “Sorrow Is A Highway.” Next, the Strings classic “Dust In A Baggie” would preface the title track from guitarist Tony Rice’s landmark 1979 album, Manzanita. Rice sadly passed away on December 25, 2020.


More originals came in the form of “Slow Train” and “Show Me The Door” ahead of Billy’s stellar rendition of Jackson Browne’s “Running On Empty.” Billy unveiled the choice cover on New Year’s Eve in his home state of Michigan. After the Johnny Winter-popularized “Ain’t Nothing To Me” and the Herb Peterson-penned “Old Train” (completing the Tony Rice trifecta), Billy closed out the second set with the title track from his 2017 debut album, Turmoil & Tinfoil. The Reno and Smiley bluegrass standard “I’m Gone, Long Gone” would serve as the encore.

Setlist (via Billy String Setlist Page)

Set One: Long Forgotten Dream, Likes of Me (3), All Time Low, Running the Route > So Many Miles, Red Daisy, Wargasm (1), Cassidy, Earnest T Grass > Little Maggie

Set Two: Bronze Back, Sorrow is a Highway (2) > Dust in a Baggie, Manzanita(3), Slow Train, Show Me the Door, Running On Empty (4), Ain’t Nothin to Me (5), Old Train (6) > Turmoil & Tinfoil

Encore: Long Gone (7)


  • (1) birdsong tease drop in
  • (2) Jeff Austin
  • (3) Tony Rice
  • (4)Jackson Browne
  • (5) Johnny winter SHOUT OUT TO ALL THE MOMS OUT THERE ❤️❤️
  • (6) Herb Peterson (recorded by the seldom scene ‘73) made more popular by Tony Rice in ‘79
  • (7) Lonesome River Band
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