Billy Strings Continues ‘Wizard Of Oz’ Halloween Run In Asheville

Watch the guitarist and his bandmates debut Greensky Bluegrass’ “Courage For The Road” and Jimi Hendrix’s “Castles Made Of Sand.”

By Scott Bernstein Oct 31, 2021 10:11 am PDT

Billy Strings continued a The Wizard Of Oz themed Halloween run on Saturday at Arena in Asheville, North Carolina. The concert featured the debuts of a number of songs from the film as well as Greensky Bluegrass, The Beatles and Jimi Hendrix covers.

Saturday’s show saw Strings, bassist Royal Masat, banjoist Billy Failing and mandolinist Jarrod Walker pick up where they had left off on Friday by fitting in tunes from the middle of the movie with the characters on their way to meet the Wizard. Walker and Masat each had a turn to lead the band after Failing sang “Somewhere Over The Rainbow” one night prior. Once again, a huge screen was set up behind the quartet, audio from the film was worked into the mix and the band dressed the part.

The concert started with the pairing of “This Old World” and “In The Morning Light,” two songs from Strings’ recently released Renewal album. Last night’s opener featured a tease of “Lollipop Guild,” a tune sung in the film by a group of Munchkins. The traditional “Little Maggie” followed before the band worked “On The Line” into “Ruby.” Strings played the Scarecrow in leading the band through their first “If I Only Had A Brain” later in the set. The quartet then closed the set with a run of “Know It All,” “The Likes Of Me” and “Pyramid Country.”

While the four-piece departed the stage in the midst of the “Pyramid Country” jam, Strings emerged after setbreak to pick up where they had left off and was soon joined by the rest of the band to finish the song. Characters dressed as Haunted Trees walked through the stage towards the end of “Pyramid Country,” which bled into “June Apple” as audio from Dorothy’s trip through the haunted forest played and ruby-colored balloons fell on the capacity crowd. The quartet patiently worked through the expansive 10-minute “June Apple” before a quick romp on The Stanley Brothers’ “How Mountain Girls Can Love.”

Next, Jarrod Walker fronted the group in channeling the Tin Man on “If I Only Had A Heart” ahead of original “Hollow Heart.” It was then Royal Masat’s turn to lead the band as he portrayed the Cowardly Lion for “If I Only Had The Nerve.” Strings and company followed with the fitting Greensky Bluegrass song “Courage For The Road” in honor of the Cowardly Lion. Billy then handled lead vocals on The Beatles’ The White Album classic “I’m So Tired.”

Strings and his mates then covered Doc Watson’s “Cocaine Blues” after which Billy mentioned how he always thinks of Doc Watson when he plays in North Carolina and thanked the crowd for attending. The band went on to work The Dillards’ “Ernest T. Grass” into Renewal standout “Show Me The Door.” Last night’s second set concluded with “Away From The Mire” off Billy’s Grammy-winning 2019 album, Home. The band then returned to the stage for an encore featuring their first cover of Jimi Hendrix’s “Castles Made Of Sand.”

Billy Strings ends the run at Arena tonight. A livestream can be purchased via Check out pro-shot and fan-shot video from last night’s show below:

Billy Strings (See 97 videos)
Billy Strings (See 726 videos)

Troy Laur (See 6 videos)
Billy Strings (See 726 videos)

Troy Laur (See 6 videos)
Billy Strings (See 726 videos)

Mark Adams
Billy Strings (See 726 videos)

Setlist (via Billy Strings Setlist Page)

Set One: This Old World [1], In the Morning Light, Little Maggie, On the Line > Ruby, Enough to Leave, I’m Still Here > Running the Route, If I Only Had a Brain [2], Know It All, Likes of Me > Pyramid Country

Set Two: Pyramid Country > June Apple [3] [4] > How Mountain Girls Can Love, If I Only Had a Heart [5], Hollow Heart, If I Only Had the Nerve [6] > Courage for the Road [7], I’m So Tired [8] > Cocaine Blues, Ernest T. Grass > Show Me the Door, Away from the Mire

Encore: Castles Made of Sand [9]


  • [1] Lollipop Guild tease
  • [2] debut – Billy vocals
  • [3] Dorothy in the haunted forest sound bite played over June Apple
  • [4] If I Only Had a Brain tease
  • [5] debut – Jarrod vocals
  • [6] debut – Royal vocals
  • [7] debut – Greensky Bluegrass
  • [8] debut – The Beatles
  • [9] debut – Jimi Hendrix
  • Billy Strings Begins ‘Wizard Of Oz’ Halloween Run In Asheville

    Billy Strings Begins ‘Wizard Of Oz’ Halloween Run In Asheville

    Billy Strings began a ‘The Wizard Of Oz’ themed Halloween run on Friday in Asheville.

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