Billy Strings Debuts Widespread Panic Cover At Beach Road Weekend

Watch the guitarist lead his band through “Fishing” on Martha’s Vineyard.

By Scott Bernstein Aug 29, 2022 8:15 am PDT

Billy Strings and his band headed to Martha’s Vineyard on Saturday for a performance on The Black Dog Stage as part of the Beach Road Weekend festival. Strings premiered a cover of Widespread Panic’s “Fishing” during his 75-minute set.

“Fishing” in the opening track on Widespread Panic’s Ball, a 2003 studio album that marked the group’s first LP following the death of Michael Houser. While Panic performed the song live frequently from 2003 – 2006, “Fishing” has only been played eight times since 2006 as per Everyday Companion with the most recent version delivered way back on February 10, 2016.

Guitarist Billy Strings, bassist Royal Masat, fiddler Alex Hargreaves, mandolinist Jarrod Walker and banjoist Billy Failing debuted their take on “Fishing” towards the middle of their Beach Road Weekend set. Strings has sat-in with Widespread Panic twice in the past. The first collaboration took place at Nashville's Ryman Auditorium in 2019, while the second came at the Mempho Music Festival in 2021.

“Fishing” joins “All Time Low” as Panic originals Billy Strings has played with his band in recent years. Saturday’s debut gave way to the instrumental “Ice Bridges.” Watch fan-shot video featuring “Fishing” and “Ice Bridges” from Beach Road Weekend below:

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Billy Strings kicked off Saturday’s set on the island of Martha’s Vineyard with a rare cover of “Train On The Island.” The song first recorded by J.P. Nester had only been performed four previous times by the guitarist. Strings then delivered Home standout “Highway Hypnosis” before turning to 2021’s Renewal for the expansive “Hide & Seek.” Next came the tender “While I’m Waiting Here” and more from Renewal in “The Fire On My Tongue” and “Secrets.”

The guitarist’s first take on “Fishing” followed along with the aforementioned “Ice Bridges.” Strings then led his mates on the beautiful Home cut “Away From The Mire,” a cover of George Gershwin’s “Summertime” and “Hellbender,” the fifth and final Renewal song played by Billy at Beach Road Weekend. Fan favorite “Hell In A Baggie” capped the set.

Strings has a few weeks off before joining Willie Nelson’s Outlaw Music Festival Tour 2022. Check out a full list of Billy Strings’ tour dates below:

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Setlist (via

Set: Train On The Island, Highway Hypnosis, While I’m Waiting Here > Hide & Seek, The Fire On My Tongue > Secrets, Fishing [1] > Ice Bridges, Away From The Mire, Summertime, Hellbender, Dust In A Baggie

[1] First Time Played – Widespread Panic

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