Billy Strings Leaves London With Cover Debut
Watch video from closing night of Billy’s debut London run.
Billy Strings concluded his debut London run on Sunday at the Islington Assembly Hall. The guitarist offered up his premiere cover of “Leaving London” by folk singer-songwriter Tom Paxton to end his second of two sold-out concerts at the venue.
Billy Strings and company — mandolinist Jarrod Walker, bassist Royal Masat and banjo player Billy Failing — kicked off the show by jamming into the title track to the 2017 album Turmoil & Tinfoil, and then took the song on a wild, 14 minute excursion. Ralph Stanley’s “A Robin Built A Nest On Daddy’s Grave” followed before Billy turned to material from his Grammy-nominated 2021 album Renewal with “Show Me The Door” ahead of Turmoil & Tinfoil’s “While I’m Waiting Here.”
Strings then delivered his composition to the Robert Hunter lyric “Thunder” and fit in a “Day Tripper” tease by the Beatles (Billy unveiled another Beatles classic during his first show in London). Up next came Hattie Nevada’s “The Letter Edged In Black” before Strings paired up Jeff Austin’s “Run Down” with Danny Barnes’ “Pretty Daughter” (YMSB covered Barnes’ “Death Trip” for years and the banjo player collaborated with Jeff in the latter’s solo projects). The Stanley Brothers-recorded “Stone Walls & Steel Bars” counted as the penultimate song of the first frame before Strings closed out the set with the traditional “Little Maggie,” throwing in a location-appropriate lyric change.
The second set got underway with Renewal’s “Red Daisy” followed by the Jimmie Driftwood-penned, Doc Watson-recorded “Tennessee Stud.” Next, Strings linked up “Running The Route” with Frank Wakefield’s “End Of The Rainbow” ahead of Larry Sparks’ 1980 release “John Deere Tractor.”
More Stanley Brothers came in the form of “Nobody’s Love Is Like Mine” ahead of Renewal’s “Heartbeat Of America.” A cover of Jimmie Skinner’s “Doin’ My Time” followed before Billy capped off the second set with “Meet Me At The Creek,” which saw the guitarist playing with the Inspector Gadget theme. Billy Strings said goodbye to London with a fitting debut cover of Tom Paxton’s 1966 song “Leaving London,” joining Doc Watson among artists who have interpreted the song.
Watch video from Billy’s London closer below:
Setlist (via BillyBase)
Set One: Turmoil & Tinfoil, A Robin Built a Nest on Daddy’s Grave, Show Me the Door, While I’m Waiting Here > Thunder(1), Letter Edged in Black, Rundown > Pretty Daughter, Stone Walls and Steel Bars Little Maggie(2)
Set Two: Red Daisy, Tennessee Stud, Running the Route > End of Rainbow, John Deere Tractor, Nobody’s Love is Like Mine, Heartbeat of America, Doin’ My Time, Meet Me at the Creek(3)
Encore: Leaving London(4)
- (1) Daytripper Tease
- (2)10 quid Lyric change
- (3) Inspector Gadget tease
- (4) FTP
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