Billy Strings Welcomes John Mailander In Atlanta

The show began with a new original song debut and featured additional new covers.

By Andy Kahn Dec 10, 2021 7:19 am PST

Billy Strings kicked off a four-night stand at The Eastern in Atlanta on Thursday night. Fiddler John Mailander joined the guitarist and his bandmates for the entire show, which began with a new original song debut and featured additional covers played for the first time.

At the start of the first set, Strings introduced Mailander (who performs with Bruce Hornsby & The Noisemakers) and indicated the guest fiddler would be joining the band for all four shows of The Eastern run. Strings then introduced “Gone A Long Time,” marking the live debut of the song he said he co-wrote with mandolinist Jarrod Walker the day before en route to Atlanta. “Thunder,” the song Strings arranged with lyrics by Robert Hunter, came next and surrounded a cover of The Beatles’ “And Your Bird Can Sing.”

The first cover debut of the night followed as Strings, Mailander, Walker, bassist Royal Masat and banjoist Billy Failing delivered a take on “Lonesome Whistle” by Hank Williams whose lyrics mention Georgia. The band and guest continued with “Thirst Mutilator” leading into “Hollow Heart,” followed by “All Of Tomorrow,” “Red Daisy” and a set-closing pairing of “Leaders” leading into “Wargasm.”

The second set began with the second cover debut of the night as Stonewall Jackson’s Georgia-centric, “Washed My Hands in Muddy Water,” made it into a setlist for the first time. A sequence of covers trailed the opener as the band worked through “Home of the Red Fox,” “Ol’ Slewfoot,” “Look Up, Look Down That Lonesome Road,” and “Train, Train.” A pair of originals, “Must Be Seven” and “Love Like Me” preceded the third and final cover debut of the evening. Strings led his crew on their initial performance of the traditional “Working On A Building.” The set came to an end with Pearl Jam’s “Elderly Woman Behind The Counter In A Small Town” and closing “Dust in a Baggie.”

Thursday’s encore consisted of the Flatt & Scruggs location-appropriate “Bringing In The Georgia Mail.” Strings returns to The Eastern for the second night of the four-show run in Atlanta. Watch the “Gone A Long Time” debut and listen to an audience recording of last night’s concert taped by Z-Man below:

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Billy Strings (See 726 videos) and John Mailander (See 15 videos)

Setlist (via Billy Strings Setlist Page)

Set One: Gone A Long Time [1], Thunder > And Your Bird Can Sing > Thunder, Lonesome Whistle [2], Thirst Mutilator > Hollow Heart, All Of Tomorrow, Red Daisy, Leaders > Wargasm

Set Two: Washed My Hands in Muddy Water [3], Home of the Red Fox > Ol’ Slewfoot, Look Up, Look Down That Lonesome Road, Train, Train > Must Be Seven, Love Like Me, Working On A Building [4], Elderly Woman Behind The Counter In A Small Town, Dust in a Baggie

Encore: Bringing In The Georgia Mail

Notes: [1] debut [2] debut, Hank Williams [3] debut, Stonewall Jackson [4] debut, traditional

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