Billy Strings Covers ‘The Night The Lights Went Out In Georgia’ In Atlanta
Listen to the debut performance of the song recorded by Vicki Lawrence and featuring guest fiddler John Mailander.
By Andy Kahn Dec 12, 2021 • 9:53 am PST
Billy Strings debuted a cover of “The Night The Lights Went Out In Georgia” in Atlanta on Saturday. The performance, which once again saw guest fiddler John Mailander participating throughout, was the third night of a four-show run at The Eastern.
A pair of traditional tunes kicked off the first set as the opener “Sally Goodin” was coupled with “John Hardy.” Following were two originals off this year’s Grammy-nominated album, Renewal, as Strings partnered “Fire Line” with “Running The Route.” Next came the Jim Reeves popularized-“The Letter Edged In Black,” and a cover of The String Cheese Incident’s “Black Clouds,” which led to the opening set’s deepest improvisation. Trailing the lengthy jam was an uninterrupted sequence of “While I’m Waiting Here” into “Pyramid Country” into “Know it All,” which punctuated the first set.
Set two began with Strings, Mailander, bassist Royal Masat, mandolinist Jarrod Walker and banjoist Billy Failing getting back to work with the Renewal cut “Secrets.” The musicians then took on Jerry Reed’s “The Likes of Me.” After that was Strings’ staple “Meet Me At The Creek,” which encompassed a cover of J.J. Cale’s “Ride Me High.” The expansive jam that arose out of “Ride Me High” contained a bit of the Inspector Gadget theme.
The audience was then treated to the debut of “The Night The Lights Went Out In Georgia,” an often covered song written by Bobby Russell and recorded by his wife, by actress/vocalist Vicki Lawrence, in 1972. The rest of the set was built around covers of the bluegrass favorite “I’ll Remember You, Love, in My Prayers,” the Grateful Dead’s “Wharf Rat” and John Hartford’s “All Fall Down.”
The evening at The Eastern ended with an encore showcasing Strings playing a Casio DG-20 synth guitar for a show-capping rendition of Bill Monroe’s “Big Mon.” Renamed “Big Mon 3000” on the printed setlist, the electrified finale featured a tease of the Beverly Hills Cop theme.
Strings wraps his four-show run in Atlanta tonight. Listen to an audience recording posted by Z-Man and watch videos of “The Night The Lights Went Out In Georgia” and “Big Mon 3000,” from Saturday’s Billy Strings concert at The Eastern in Atlanta below:
The Night The Lights Went Out In Georgia
Big Mon 3000
Setlist (via BillyBase & Billy Strings Setlist Page)
Set One: Sally Goodin > John Hardy, Fire Line > Running The Route, Letter Edged In Black, Black Clouds, While I’m Waiting Here > Pyramid Country > Know It All
Set Two: Secrets, Likes Of Me > Meet Me At The Creek > Ride Me High  > Meet Me At The Creek, The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia , I’ll Remember You Love In My Prayers, Wharf Rat, All Fall Down
Encore: Big Mon 3000 
-  Inspector Gadget tease
-  First Time Played
-  Billy on Casio Synth Guitar
-  Beverly Hills Cop theme tease
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