Billy Strings Debuts New Covers In Los Angeles
Watch video of Jarrod Walker leading the audience in "Happy Birthday" to Billy.
Billy Strings stopped by The Wiltern Theatre in Los Angeles on Sunday. The guitarist and his band unveiled a pair of new covers during the show that came on the eve Billy’s 30th birthday.
Fans were given yellow truckers hats with “Happy Birthday Billy” printed on them and mandolinist Jarrod Walker led the audience in singing “Happy Birthday To You,” after which Billy said “I appreciate it, let’s have a good time tonight.” The band — Strings, Walker, bassist Royal Masat, banjoist Billy Failing and fiddler Alex Hargreaves — then launched into the debut of “All The Good Times Are Past And Gone.” A traditional tune first recorded by Fred and Gertrude Gossett in 1930, “All The Good Times Are Past And Gone” has been released by bluegrass greats like the Monroe Brothers and Flatt & Scruggs.
After a pair of songs, “Away From The Mire” and “Long Forgotten Dream,” from his Grammy-winning 2019 album Home, Billy included a fitting cover of Peter Rowan’s “Lonesome LA Cowboy.” The first set also saw Strings on additional covers from Bill Monroe (“Close By”), Tony Rice (“Tipper”) and New Grass Revival (“Whisper My Name”) along with originals like “Hide & Seek,” “Love Like Me” and set closer “Know It All.”
Billy and company kicked off the second set with a pairing of The Dillards’ “Ernest T. Grass” and original “Secrets.” The band then embarked on four song seamless sequence beginning with John Hartford’s “With A Vamp In The Middle” followed by the traditional “Red Rocking Chair” and another Newgrass song, “This Heart Of Mine.” Billy sealed the segment with the original “Dealing Dispair” off his 2017 album, Turmoil & Tinfoil.
A pair of songs from 2021’s Renewal, “Love & Regret” and “Hellbender” came next ahead of The Seldom Scene’s “Old Train.” The title track to Turmoil & Tinfoil followed which saw “Inspector Gadget” teases. A trio of covers, “I’ll Remember You, Love, In My Prayers,” “Slow Train” and “End Of The Rainbow” then prefaced a set closing section beginning with “Dust In A Baggie.”
Billy would work the second debut of the evening, Bill Monroe’s “Wheel Hoss,” in the middle before returning to “Dust In A Baggie” to close out the set. Strings and the band returned to reprise “All The Good Times Are Past And Gone” to kick off the encore and kept up the “gone” songs with Don Reno’s “I’m Gone, Long Gone” to cap the evening
Check out fan-shot video from last night’s show including “Happy Birthday Billy”:
Happy Birthday Billy
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Setlist (via BillyBase)
Set 1: Happy Birthday To You, All The Good Times Are Past And Gone, Away From The Mire, Long Forgotten Dream, Lonesome LA Cowboy, Close By, Tipper, Born To Be With You, Beaumont Rag, Hide & Seek, Bringing Mary Home, Cattle In The Cane, Love Like Me, Whisper My Name, Know It All
Set 2:Ernest T. Grass > Secrets With A Vamp In The Middle > Red Rocking Chair > This Heart Of Mine > Dealing Despair, Love & Regret, Hellbender, Old Train, Turmoil & Tinfoil I’ll Remember You Love In My Prayers, Slow Train, End Of The Rainbow, Dust In A Baggie > Wheel Hoss > Dust In A Baggie
Encore: All The Good Times Are Past And Gone, I’m Gone, Long Gone
1. Crowd sing along with “Happy Birthday Billy” trucker hats, led by Jarrod Walker
2. FTP- Traditional
3. Inspector Gadget tease
4. FTP- Bill Monroe