Billy Strings Busts Out John Hartford Cover In Schaumburg

Strings had last covered Hartford's "Long Hot Summer Day" in August 2018.

By Scott Bernstein Jun 14, 2021 7:32 am PDT

Billy Strings and his band brought a two-night stand at Wintrust Field in Schaumburg, Illinois to a close on Saturday night. The quartet kicked off their second set of the evening with their first cover of John Hartford’s “Long Hot Summer Day” since August of 2018.

Strings, banjoist Billy Failing, mandolinist Jarrod Walker and bassist Royal Masat began Saturday’s show by working “Fire Line” into “Ice Bridges.” Both songs were debuted back in February during the band’s “The Déjà Vu Experiment” livestream concert residency at The Capitol Theatre in Port Chester, New York. “Ice Bridges” bled into “Running,” the evening’s first song from Billy’s Grammy-winning Home album. More songs premiered at The Cap, “Morning Light” and “Leaders,” were split by an extended take on Home’s “Highway Hypnosis.”

Quick romps through “Hellbender” and “Slow Train” were followed by the seventh ever “Show Me The Door.” The four-piece then ended the frame with their first cover of the night, Bill Monroe’s “Big Mon.” Strings and company got the second set underway with the aforementioned “Long Hot Summer Day.” The band debuted the John Hartford cover on August 31, 2018 in Peoria, Illinois as per Phantasy Tour and hadn’t played the song again until Saturday. Billy referenced the city where the show took place by singing the lyric, “I got a little girl in Schaumburg” instead of “Pekin” as in the original.

The group returned to Home for “Everything’s The Same” before jamming Mother Love Bone’s “Crown Of Thorns” into “Clinch Mountain Backstep” by The Stanley Brothers. “Crown Of Thorns” came complete with “Clinch Mountain Backstep” teases in a preview of what was to come. Home track “Must Be Seven” saw action next ahead of Larry Sparks’ “John Deere Tractor.” Strings and his band then followed “Fire On My Tongue” with Doc Watson’s “She Makes My Love Come Rolling Down.” The quartet capped the set with a well-jammed “Hide & Seek” featuring “Enter The Dragon” within and concluded the night with an “On The Southbound” encore.

Billy Strings continues his Summer Solstice Tour on Friday and Saturday at Ford Park Live in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. Watch fan-shot video featuring Billy and his band’s “A Long Hot Summer Day” from Saturday night below:


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Setlist (via Billy Strings Set List Page)

Set One: Fire Line > Ice Bridges > Running, Morning Light, Highway Hypnosis, Leaders, Hellbender, Slow Train, Show Me the Door, Big Mon

Set Two: Long Hot Summer Day (1), Everything’s the Same (2), Crown of Thorns (3) > Clinch Mountain Backstep > Must Be Seven, John Deere Tractor, Fire On My Tongue, She Makes My Love Come Rolling Down, Hide & Seek > Enter the Dragon > Hide & Seek

Encore: On The Southbound

  • (1) Got a little girl in Schaumburg lyric change. LTP 8/31/18
  • (2) If You’re Happy and You Know It intro tease
  • (3) Clinch Mountain teases
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