Billy Strings Debuts Bill Monroe Covers In Louisville

The guitarist and his band honored the “Father Of Bluegrass” in his native Kentucky with a number of covers at Iroquois Amphitheater.

By Scott Bernstein Jul 25, 2022 9:07 am PDT

Billy Strings fit a handful of songs recorded by Kentucky’s own “Father Of Bluegrass” Bill Monroe, including two debuts, into the setlist for his Sunday concert in Louisville. Strings and his band closed out a three-night stand at Iroquois Amphitheater last night.

The guitarist along with bassist Royal Masat, mandolinist Jarrod Walker, fiddler Alex Hargreaves and banjoist Billy Failing kicked off Sunday’s show by looking to 2019’s Home for “Taking Water.” Next up were “Ice Bridges” and “Secrets” off 2021’s Renewal. Strings & Co. then delivered their first take on “Old Dangerfield,” a song penned by Monroe for inclusion on his 1981 album, Master Of Bluegrass. From there, the group returned to Renewal for “Love & Regret.”

Last night’s first set continued with a cover of John Hartford’s “With A Vamp In The Middle,” which was only played previously by Billy during his 2019 “String The Halls Two” concert in Nashville. “With A Vamp In The Middle” gave way to Monroe’s “Southern Flavor.” A run of originals “Red Daisy,” “Nothing’s Working” and “This Old World” followed. The latter bled into “Black Mountain Rag” before the quintet capped the frame with the beloved “Turmoil & Tinfoil.”

The second set started with the Billy Strings debut of “Molly And Tenbrooks.” Bill Monroe and His Blue Grass Boys released their version of the the traditional song also known as “The Racehorse Song” in 1949. Kentucky native Sam Bush is also among artists who have covered “Molly And Tenbrooks.”

The evening’s second and final cover debut led into a “Thirst Mutilator”/”Running” sequence. “Running” and the “Watch It Fall” that followed both were recorded by Strings for Home. A pair of covers came next in Chris Henry’s “West Dakota Rose” and Flatt & Scruggs’ “Doin’ My Time.”

Strings and his bandmates returned to original material for “On The Line” off 2017’s Turmoil & Tinfoil as well as Home’s “Love Like Me,” “Long Forgotten Dream” and title track. It was then back to Bill Monroe covers for “Uncle Pen” and “Dusty Miller.” Next, the five-piece dusted off their rendition of Jimmie Davis’ “Shackles & Chains” for the first time since May 26, 2019 and said farewell to Louisville with “Pretty Daughter” by Danny Barnes.

Check out fan-shot video from Billy’s Louisville finale below:

Old Dangerfield


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Turmoil & Tinfoil


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Raven A
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Uncle Pen


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Tennessee Ed (See 9 videos)
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Shackles & Chains


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Setlist (via BillyBase)

Set One: Taking Water > Ice Bridges, Secrets, Old Dangerfield [1], Love & Regret, With A Vamp In The Middle > Southern Flavor, Red Daisy, Nothing’s Working, This Old World > Black Mountain Rag, Turmoil & Tinfoil

Set Two: Molly And Tenbrooks [1], Thirst Mutilator > Running, Watch It Fall, West Dakota Rose, Doin’ My Time > On The Line, Love Like Me, Long Forgotten Dream, Home, Uncle Pen, Dusty Miller, Shackles & Chains, Pretty Daughter

[1] – First Time Played

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