Billy Strings Debuts ‘Peggy-O’ Cover In Pittsburgh

The concert also featured a tribute to Pittsburgh’s own Mac Miller with a jam on the late rapper’s “What’s The Use?”

By Scott Bernstein Aug 12, 2021 1:01 pm PDT

Guitarist Billy Strings trekked to Pittsburgh on Wednesday night for an outdoor concert at Stage AE. Strings and his band worked their debut cover of the traditional folk song “Peggy-O” into the second set.

Billy, bassist Royal Masat, banjoist Billy Failing and mandolin player Jarrod Walker kicked off the first set by pairing Leftover Salmon’s “Down In The Hollow” and the instrumental “Libby Phillips Rag.” Next came a cover of Ralph Stanley’s “Rock Of Ages” ahead of a well-jammed “Hide & Seek.” The latter was one of six songs featured on Strings’ forthcoming Renewal album played in Pittsburgh.

The band, who all sported t-shirts with logos for Pittsburgh-based sports teams, went with “Watch It Fall” from Billy’s Grammy-winning Home LP next before jamming “Dust In A Baggie” into “Lumpy, Beanpole & Dirt.” Renewal’s “Ice Bridges” and a take on Frank Wakefield’s “End Of The Rainbow” brought the frame to a close. Last night’s second set got underway with “Fire On My Tongue” from Renewal. Strings then led the group through The Stanley Brothers’ “Stone Walls And Steel Bars.”

Billy and his mates then worked a 20-minute “Turmoil & Tinfoil” into “Thirst Mutilator” which gave way to a cover of Johnny Cash’s “Big River.” The former featured a jam on “What’s The Use?” by late Pittsburgh-native Mac Miller. Strings then fronted a gorgeous “Peggy-O,” a song that was a staple of the Grateful Dead’s live repertoire. Next up was “Red Daisy” before the quartet closed out the set with a “Fire Line” featuring the traditional “Reuben’s Train” within. For the encore, Strings and company treated Pittsburgh fans to The Stanley Brothers’ “Rank Stranger” and Renewal track “Know It All.”

The four-piece now heads to Billy’s home state of Michigan to play the Hoxeyville Festival. Watch fan-shot video from last night’s show below:

Rock Of Ages

Billy Strings (See 672 videos)

Watch It Fall

Connor Jenkins
Billy Strings (See 672 videos)

Rank Stranger, Know It All

ColonelForbinMcGrupp Extraordinaire
Billy Strings (See 672 videos)

Setlist (via Billy Strings Set List Page)

Set One: Down In The Hollow > Libby Phillips Rag, Rock Of Ages, Hide & Seek (1), Watch It Fall, Dust In A Baggie > Lumpy, Beanpole & Dirt (2), Ice Bridges > End Of The Rainbow

Set Two: Fire On My Tongue, Stone Walls and Steel Bars, Turmoil & Tinfoil (3)(4) > Thirst Mutilator > Big River, Peggy-O (5), Red Daisy, Fire Line (6) > Reuben’s Train > Fire Line

Encore: Rank Stranger, Know It All

  • (1) 3rd Stone tease
  • (2) Death Trip tease
  • (3) What’s the Use Jam (Mac Miller)
  • (4) I Can See Clearly Now tease
  • (5) First Time Played
  • (6) Gypsy Queen Jam (Santana)

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