Billy Strings Teams With Railroad Earth & The Infamous Stringdusters At Bender Jamboree

By Jeffrey Greenblatt Apr 13, 2019 10:42 am PDT

The second annual Bender Jamboree is currently underway at the Plaza Hotel & Casino in Downtown Las Vegas. On Friday, Billy Strings made the most of his time at the the jamgrass-heavy festival by sitting in with both Railroad Earth and The Infamous Stringdusters.

Strings kicked off his hour-and-a-half-long set at the Pool Stage with The Stanley Brothers’ “If I Lose.” From there, the Michigan native would mix his originals with a healthy dose of covers. The talented guitarist served up takes on the Peter Rowan-penned “Lonesome L.A. Cowboy,” Little Feat’s “Willin’” and a trio of traditional bluegrass stompers in the form of “Slewfoot,” “This Heart Of Mine” and “Paul & Silas.”

Railroad Earth was up next. The New Jersey-based band opened up their set with a pair of songs from their 2002 LP Bird In A House as they teamed “Like A Buddha” with “Give That Boy A Hand.” Longtime partners “Dance Around Molly” and “Dandelion Wine” followed. The back third of the set featured a jam-heavy, seamless run as the venerable jamgrass act first stitched together “Black Elk Speaks” and “Hangtown Ball” before Strings emerged to help them take things home on “I Am A Mess.”

The Infamous Stringdusters delivered a career-spanning headlining set to close out the night. Included within were originals from various eras as well as covers of The Cure’s “Just Like Heaven” and Grateful Dead’s “Jack Straw.” Strings joined in around the midway point of the set to help out on “No More To Leave You Behind.” Strings sang the first half of the first two verses of the tune from the Stringdusters’ 2007 LP Fork In The Road.

Watch fan-shot video of both of Strings’ sit-ins, along with audio of his set taped by Keith Litzenberger, below:

I Am A Mess with Billy Strings

No More To Leave You Behind with Billy Strings

Billy Strings Setlist

Set: If I Lose, Pyramid Country > Airmail Special, Lonesome L.A. Cowboy, So Many Miles > Thirst Mutilator > I’m Still Here > Thirst Mutilator> Hollow Heart, Willin’, Ol’ Slewfoot, This Heart of Mine > Dealing Despair, Ernest T Grass > Paul & Silas, Turmoil & Tinfoil

Railroead Earth Setlist (via Railroad Earth Facebook)

Set: Like A Buddha > Give That Boy A Hand, Dance Around Molly > Dandelion Wine, Came Up Smilin’, Colorado, The Cuckoo, Black Elk Speaks > Hangtown Ball > I Am A Mess*

*with Billy Strings on guitar / (This entire show featured Mike Robinson on pedal steel, guitar and banjo.)

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