Billy Strings Busts Out ‘Kissimmee Kid’ In Cincinnati
The Old & In The Way classic was played for the first time since 2018.
By Scott Bernstein Mar 17, 2023 • 8:32 am PDT
Billy Strings brought his winter tour to Cincinnati on Thursday for his first of three nights at The Andrew J. Brady Music Center. Strings and his band delivered a 29-song performance that included their first cover of Old & In The Way’s “Kissimmee Kid” since 2018.
The guitarist, bassist Royal Masat, banjoist Billy Failing, mandolinist Jarrod Walker and fiddler Alex Hargreaves kicked off the night and run with the instrumental “Dusty Miller,” which bled into Renewal standout “Secrets.” Strings and his bandmates hinted at “Must Be Seven” next but instead looked to 2019’s Home for “Away From The Mire.” From there, the group pair Emmitt/Nershi’s “New Country Blues” and recently debuted original “My Alice” with the traditional “Billy In The Lowground.” The latter was last played at Newport Folk Festival in 2021.
Last night’s first set continued with a seamless run linking “Fire Line,” “Thirst Mutilator” and “Hollow Heart.” Billy then returned to Renewal for “This Old World” before a take on Jerry Reed’s “The Likes Of Me” gave way to a well-jammed “Pyramid Country” featuring “Salt Creek” and “Day Tripper” teases. The quintet capped the set by dusting off their rendition of the traditional “Paul & Silas” for the first time since September 24, 2021.
Strings and company went heavy on covers in the second set starting with Keith Allison’s “Freeborn Man” and The Dillards’ “Ernest T. Grass.” The five-piece then played the “Must Be Seven” hinted at earlier which they worked into “Thunder,” a song featuring lyrics penned by the late Robert Hunter. Next, Billy led the group on Doc Watson’s “Little Sadie” ahead of his own “Love Like Me” and covers of New Grass Revival’s “Whisper My Name” and Hattie Nevada’s “The Letter Edged In Black.” The Strings/Walker co-write “Gone A Long Time” followed.
“Kissimmee Kid” was dusted off a few songs later. Vassar Clements wrote the song which takes its title from his hometown in Florida. Last night was just the fourth time Billy Strings performed “Kissimmee Kid” as per BillyBase.net’s stats with the previous take played on November 21, 2018. The guitarist and his band wrapped up the night with covers of “I’ve Just Seen The Rock Of Ages” and “Slow Train.”
Billy Strings returns to The Andrew J. Brady Music Center on Friday and Saturday. Free livestreams are available through nugs.net.
Watch fan-shot video from last night’s show below:
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Setlist (via BillyBase.net)
Set One: Dusty Miller > Secrets > Away From The Mire , New Country Blues, My Alice, Billy In The Lowground, Fire Line > Thirst Mutilator > Hollow Heart, This Old World, Likes Of Me > Pyramid Country [2, 3] > Paul & Silas
Set Two: Freeborn Man > Ernest T. Grass > Must Be Seven > Thunder , Little Sadie, Love Like Me, Whisper My Name, The Letter Edged In Black, Gone A Long Time, Ready For The Times To Get Better, Red Daisy, Psycho, The Preacher & The Bear, Kissimmee Kid, I’ve Just Seen The Rock Of Ages, Slow Train
-  – “Must Be Seven” fake-out intro
-  – “Salt Creek” (Traditional) tease
-  – “Day Tripper” (Beatles) tease
-  – “Inspector Gadget” (Theme song) jam
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