Watch Billy Strings Take A Crack At Alice In Chains’ ‘Nutshell’ & Debut Original In Cincinnati
The guitarist unveiled “Cabin Song” to start a second set that also included his premiere cover of the Jar Of Flies classic.
By Scott Bernstein Mar 20, 2023 • 7:18 am PDT
Guitarist Billy Strings closed his winter tour on Saturday with his third and final show at Cincinnati’s Andrew J. Brady Music Center. Strings unveiled a new original entitled “Cabin Song” to kick off a second set that also included a debut cover of Alice In Chains’ “Nutshell.”
The Michigan native and his band — bassist Royal Masat, fiddler Alex Hargreaves, mandolinist Jarrod Walker and banjoist Billy Failing — began the night by linking Billy’s “On The Line” with the traditional “Train 45,” which flowed into a take on the Osborne Brothers-popularized “Ruby.” Strings expressed his nervousness before leading the group through “Doin’ Things Right” off 2017’s Turmoil & Tinfoil. The group then took it down a notch by performing John Hartford’s pretty song “I’m Still Here” ahead of a Failing-helmed “So Many Miles” and a cover of The Stanley Brothers’ “Stone Walls & Steel Bars,” which Strings explained he’s been performing since he was a kid.
Billy dug deep into his repertoire next for his first cover of The Infamous Stringdusters’ “No More To Leave You Behind” since September 24, 2021. Strings then looked to his latest album, 2021’s Renewal, for “Nothing’s Working” and dedicated “John Deere Tractor” to his mother, Debra Barber, who was on hand at the show. Saturday’s first set concluded with an expansive “Meet Me At The Creek” that spanned beyond the 20-minute mark.
“Y’all want to hear a new one?,” Strings exclaimed upon returning for the second set and explained he had just taught the ensuing tune, “Cabin Song,” to his bandmates backstage 10 minutes prior. The quintet then offered “Taking Water” and “Watch It Fall” off 2019’s Home broken up by Renewal’s “Ice Bridges.” Billy then said “We oughta play some bluegrass boys” to lead into a rare take on the traditional “Will You Be Loving Another Man.” The guitarist and his band went on to pair Turmoil & Tinfoil’s “Living Like An Animal” with Home standout “Long Forgotten Dream.”
The final set of the run and tour continued with Billy Strings’ debut rendition of the Alice In Chains classic “Nutshell” off the Seattle-based band’s 1994 LP, Jar Of Flies. “Nutshell” bled into “Wargasm” before it was back to Renewal for “In The Morning Light.” Walker led the ensemble through “Libby Phillips Rag” next and then the quintet wrapped the set with an adventurous “Turmoil & Tinfoil.” Billy Strings selected Jimmy Martin’s “Tennessee” to serve as the evening’s encore.
Watch Billy Strings debut “Cabin Song” and “Nutshell” via fan-shot video below:
Check out pro-shot video featuring the start of Saturday’s show thanks to nugs.net:
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Audience Recording (Taped by Jim Mal)
Setlist (via BillyBase.net)
Set One: On The Line > Train 45 > Ruby, Doin’ Things Right , I’m Still Here  > So Many Miles , Stone Walls & Steel Bars , No More To Leave You Behind, Nothing’s Working, John Deere Tractor , Meet Me At The Creek 
Set Two: Cabin Song , Taking Water > Ice Bridges, Watch It Fall, Will You Be Loving Another Man?, Living Like An Animal > Long Forgotten Dream, Nutshell  > Wargasm, In The Morning Light, Libby Phillips Rag, Turmoil & Tinfoil
-  – “Moby Dick” (Led Zeppelin) tease
-  – “Last Train To Clarksville” (The Monkees) tease
-  – Billy Failing lead vocals
-  – Billy recalled learning this around the age of 7, playing with his father, Terry Barber, and Brad Lasco at Barkus Campground along the Stoney Creek
-  -Dedicated to Billy’s mom, Debra Apostol, who was in the audience
-  -“Fork In The Road” (The Infamous Stringdusters) tease
-  -FTP – Original
-  -FTP – Alice In Chains
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