Billy Strings Plays Solo Set In Indianapolis

The guitarist skipped set break in favor of playing an extra set alone.

By Andy Kahn Jul 31, 2022 8:10 am PDT

Billy Strings played a solo bonus set last night at his show at the TCU Amphitheatre at White River State Park in Indianapolis. The guitarist stayed on stage during the evening’s set break and delivered an eight-song solo set.

Following an enthusiastic “Highway Hypnosis” that ended the 10-song first set, Strings remained onstage alone while his bandmates – mandolinist Jarrod Walker, bassist Royal Masat, banjoist Billy Failing and fiddler Alex Hargreaves – exited for a set break.

  • Billy Strings Debuts 'I'd Like To Be A Train' Cover In Indianapolis

    Billy Strings Debuts 'I'd Like To Be A Train' Cover In Indianapolis

    Billy Strings fit lengthy jams and a debut cover of Larry Sparks’ “I’d Like To Be A Train” within his concert on Friday in Indianapolis.

“I just wanted to maybe play a little flat-picking for you guys,” Strings told the audience.

“I just kind of decided to opt out of set break tonight, myself,” Strings said later in the set. “These hard curfews lately, kind of piss me off sometimes. I’d rather just play all the way through for you guys. So, I guess what I’m saying is: feel free to go take a piss or grab a beer or whatever you need to do. We’re not going to take a break tonight, so if you need to do that, just do it.”

The guitarist began his solo set with a run of “Beaumont Rag” into “Black Mountain Rag” back into “Beaumont Rag.” The pair of traditional bluegrass instrumentals were trailed by a cover of the Peter Rowan-written “Bound To Ride.”

Strings then picked his way through the traditional “John Henry.” Next, Strings played Norman Blake’s “Randall Collins,” which he performed once prior during a solo livestream in April 2020. The guitarist segued into the traditional “Hold That Woodpile Down” and then offered up The Delmore Brothers’ “Brown’s Ferry Blues.” The solo set wrapped with Stings playing banjo on “The Cuckoo.”

Strings’ bandmates remerged to start the third set off with Bill Monroe’s “Uncle Pen.” The 11-song third set saw such highlights as “Home” paired with Bela Fleck’s “Tentacle Dragon (Revenge Of The),” a lengthy “Wargasm” and a “Train 45” closer.

Watch audience-shot video of Billy Strings’ solo set and listen to audio of the entire concert taped by Adam Huston below:

Ohio Grown (See 8 videos)
Billy Strings (See 626 videos)

Ohio Grown (See 8 videos)
Billy Strings (See 626 videos)

Ohio Grown (See 8 videos)
Billy Strings (See 626 videos)

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Setlist (via BillyBase)

Set One: Slow Train, I’ll Remember You, Love, In My Prayers, Watch It Fall, Turmoil & Tinfoil, Nothing’s Working, Home Of The Red Fox > Secrets, There Is A Time, Rank Stranger, Highway Hypnosis

Set Two: Beaumont Rag [1] > Black Mountain Rag [1] > Beaumont Rag [1], Bound To Ride [1], John Henry [1], Randall Collins [1] > Hold That Woodpile Down [1], Brown’s Ferry Blues [1], The Cuckoo [2]

Set Three: Uncle Pen [3], Know It All, John Deere Tractor, Whisper My Name, Home, Tentacle Dragon (Revenge Of The), Red Daisy, Leaders > Wargasm, Tennessee, Train 45


  • [1] Billy Strings solo
  • [2] Billy Strings solo on clawhammer banjo
  • [3] Band rejoins Billy on the stage
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